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Tracking Finances in a digital contactless world?

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stevensfo
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Re: Tracking Finances in a digital contactless world?

#666018

Postby stevensfo » May 26th, 2024, 7:10 pm

swill453 wrote:
stevensfo wrote:Agree that cash is best. I use a card for mundane things, but cash for lots of others.

Who are you agreeing with? Nobody else has said that :-)

I've definitely gone over to cashless wherever possible:
- makes it much easier to track spending
- a single big payment coming out of my current account up to six weeks later
- and cashback too

Scott.


Who are you agreeing with? Nobody else has said that

I was replying to the post above, by DrFfybes May 23rd, 2024, 6:26 pm.

Perhaps it's a personal thing. I don't like surprises and take Privacy seriously.

I find that using cash makes it much easier to track spending. More transparent and no wondering months later about withdrawals that you can't remember.

But why do you use cashback if you don't use cash?


Steve

swill453
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Re: Tracking Finances in a digital contactless world?

#666020

Postby swill453 » May 26th, 2024, 7:23 pm

stevensfo wrote:I find that using cash makes it much easier to track spending. More transparent and no wondering months later about withdrawals that you can't remember.

As I explained above, I log spending daily. I find it an easy routine to get into after breakfast.

But why do you use cashback if you don't use cash?

Cashback as in a percentage cashback on all my credit card spending.

Scott.

stevensfo
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Re: Tracking Finances in a digital contactless world?

#666022

Postby stevensfo » May 26th, 2024, 7:59 pm

swill453 wrote:
stevensfo wrote:I find that using cash makes it much easier to track spending. More transparent and no wondering months later about withdrawals that you can't remember.

As I explained above, I log spending daily. I find it an easy routine to get into after breakfast.

But why do you use cashback if you don't use cash?

Cashback as in a percentage cashback on all my credit card spending.

Scott.


Okay, maybe I don't understand. I thought that cashback was the cash you asked for at the supermarket checkout.

So you're not talking about cash, but a reduction in what you owe on your cc, due to the fees that your cc charge the shop for accepting their cc?

Correct me if I've got that wrong.

Steve

PS I don't need cashback, cos I already have cash, and it's got our monarchy's head on it, so it must be good for something. ;)

the0ni0nking
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Re: Tracking Finances in a digital contactless world?

#666027

Postby the0ni0nking » May 26th, 2024, 8:44 pm

stevensfo wrote:
I find that using cash makes it much easier to track spending. More transparent and no wondering months later about withdrawals that you can't remember.

But why do you use cashback if you don't use cash?

Steve


There's nowt as queer as folk - I find the reverse. I think it's much easier to remember "I spent that £28.34 at the Fox and Hounds on Sunday Dinner" as opposed to "What did I spend the £50 on that I withdrew from the cashpoint?"

As an aside, I did have a look at my HSBC app about monitoring spending - it's awful. It forces you to select a category for every transaction. Most other apps allow you to apply a category to all transactions from the same vendor. So if I go into the supermarket then that's Grocery shopping every time. (Admittedly it might be slightly different with say Amazon where some may be differing categories). I have probably 50 transactions on my "spending money account" every month - I'm not going to analyse it all using HSBC.

IIRC, Monzo and Revolut are good at the spending insights and less time consuming in their allocation but everyone has their own preferences.

Urbandreamer
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Re: Tracking Finances in a digital contactless world?

#666032

Postby Urbandreamer » May 26th, 2024, 9:11 pm

stevensfo wrote:Okay, maybe I don't understand. I thought that cashback was the cash you asked for at the supermarket checkout.

So you're not talking about cash, but a reduction in what you owe on your cc, due to the fees that your cc charge the shop for accepting their cc?

Correct me if I've got that wrong.

Steve

PS I don't need cashback, cos I already have cash, and it's got our monarchy's head on it, so it must be good for something. ;)


No you have not got it wrong. However a return from spending is known by many as a cashback. That's how credit card (LOAN) companies have talked about it for years. It's a bit like using a Dyson HOOVER to clean your house! Words mean what people want/understand them to mean.

BTW, I do feel that I should point out that this is the LBYM board, not for example the Crypto board. Were we on that board I would be arguing for digital cash that can't be debased, yet agreeing with you upon the advantages of the paper stuff. However this is LBYM and the thread is about tracking spending, not the medium of exchange if it can easily be tracked by the owner.

PS, just a point, but Scottish pound notes have the monarchy's head on them, but are not legal tender. OK they are still currency and good where accepted. Just not where I live (England).

gpadsa
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Re: Tracking Finances in a digital contactless world?

#666038

Postby gpadsa » May 26th, 2024, 10:12 pm

Newroad wrote:One problem I have is that my existing spreadsheet (which tracks investments rather than expenditure) is used to help me rebalance, so I would be unlikely to be able to deprecate it, fully at least.

I originally got gnucash to track investments (close quotes from alphavantage) & am a newbie in this topic's general tracking of finances. The 'asset chart' report options can be set so specific assets will be displayed as %. Probably not sophisticated enough for fine-tuned rebalancing (which I don't do) though. The reports can be modified to answer pretty much any question I've been able to think of to the point that the only spreadsheet I run alongside is one for hitting a SA target.

gpadsa

swill453
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Re: Tracking Finances in a digital contactless world?

#666043

Postby swill453 » May 26th, 2024, 10:49 pm

stevensfo wrote:
swill453 wrote:As I explained above, I log spending daily. I find it an easy routine to get into after breakfast.

Cashback as in a percentage cashback on all my credit card spending.

Okay, maybe I don't understand. I thought that cashback was the cash you asked for at the supermarket checkout.

So you're not talking about cash, but a reduction in what you owe on your cc, due to the fees that your cc charge the shop for accepting their cc?

Correct me if I've got that wrong.

Well my credit card statement calls it cashback. I suppose it's the same term used when you withdraw money at a supermarket checkout using a debit card. But it's literally years since I've heard anyone ask for that. Is it still a thing?

Scott.

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Re: Tracking Finances in a digital contactless world?

#666045

Postby UncleEbenezer » May 26th, 2024, 10:55 pm

swill453 wrote:- and cashback too
Scott.

Who's offering that nowadays?

Got it for 30 years or so from Nationwide, but they stopped it :cry:

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Re: Tracking Finances in a digital contactless world?

#666056

Postby swill453 » May 27th, 2024, 5:59 am

UncleEbenezer wrote:
swill453 wrote:- and cashback too

Who's offering that nowadays?

Got it for 30 years or so from Nationwide, but they stopped it :cry:

I get it on my Barclaycard. Only 0.5%, but when just about all my spending goes through it, it mounts up.

Scott.

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Re: Tracking Finances in a digital contactless world?

#666071

Postby UncleEbenezer » May 27th, 2024, 9:34 am

swill453 wrote:
UncleEbenezer wrote:Who's offering that nowadays?

Got it for 30 years or so from Nationwide, but they stopped it :cry:

I get it on my Barclaycard. Only 0.5%, but when just about all my spending goes through it, it mounts up.

Scott.

Now I'm more confused.

The deal you described sounds exactly what I used to get from Nationwide. But googling found me https://www.barclaycard.co.uk/personal/ ... ck-rewards which makes no hint at anything so simple and useful, but instead suggests
2. You’ll get personalised cashback offers based on how you use that card
3. There’s no need to activate an offer, or choose which offers you’d like to use in advance. You just need to spend using your registered card according to one of your offers

which smells of something altogether more sinister and less clear! And when I click on cashback reward card option, it says a £20/month fee!

swill453
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Re: Tracking Finances in a digital contactless world?

#666073

Postby swill453 » May 27th, 2024, 9:39 am

UncleEbenezer wrote:
swill453 wrote:I get it on my Barclaycard. Only 0.5%, but when just about all my spending goes through it, it mounts up.

Now I'm more confused.

The deal you described sounds exactly what I used to get from Nationwide. But googling found me https://www.barclaycard.co.uk/personal/ ... ck-rewards which makes no hint at anything so simple and useful

My card is a "Barclaycard World" which I've had since 2006. No fee and 0.5% cashback on everything. I guess it's no great surprise if it's not currently on offer.

Scott.

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Re: Tracking Finances in a digital contactless world?

#666113

Postby ukmtk » May 27th, 2024, 1:27 pm

If I do track expenditure then I simply use a spreadsheet - with a sheet per year.
I load up the credit card statements and transfer the data from the statements to the sheet.
I lump some things together: Amazon + each supermarket (so I add all the items into one number for the month)
In this way I just need to list all the other non-daily items.
I lay it out on a calendar month basis - I just collect each of the purchase dates from the statements and put them in date order.

I actually have a number of credit cards - I typically use each one for a different purpose:
1. supermarkets
2. non-supermarkets
3. online

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Re: Tracking Finances in a digital contactless world?

#666291

Postby Clariman » May 28th, 2024, 4:39 pm

Thanks everyone, but I am already tracking my spending by entering everything in MS Money. The challenge is that all the small payments (that would have been non-trackable cash payments) are very time consuming to enter into MS Money, but I need to enter them separately if I am to properly reconcile my credit card and bank statements.

Others have suggested importing bank and card statements into MS Money. This is possible but that loses one of the main benefits of tracking it in the way I have done up until now. I record all our spending BEFORE receiving the statements, and then reconcile the statements against what I already know we've spent. That means I immediately spot any unrecorded or unusual transactions. By simply downloading and importing the statement, you miss that reconciliation step.

Just last week I spotted a transaction which I did not recognise. I queried it with Amex and they immediately refunded it.

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Re: Tracking Finances in a digital contactless world?

#666292

Postby Urbandreamer » May 28th, 2024, 4:59 pm

Clariman wrote:Thanks everyone, but I am already tracking my spending by entering everything in MS Money. The challenge is that all the small payments (that would have been non-trackable cash payments) are very time consuming to enter into MS Money, but I need to enter them separately if I am to properly reconcile my credit card and bank statements.

Others have suggested importing bank and card statements into MS Money. This is possible but that loses one of the main benefits of tracking it in the way I have done up until now. I record all our spending BEFORE receiving the statements, and then reconcile the statements against what I already know we've spent. That means I immediately spot any unrecorded or unusual transactions. By simply downloading and importing the statement, you miss that reconciliation step.

Just last week I spotted a transaction which I did not recognise. I queried it with Amex and they immediately refunded it.


On of the earlier posters asked who you are with. I suspect that the reason was that you don't have to wait for a statement with most financial institutions. Instead you can log in and look at / download your current position.
I bought some food at the local Supermarket using my MBNA credit card between 3 & 4pm today. I've just logged on (5pm) and apparently it cost me £17.32. I also downloaded my most recent transactions while I was there as a CSV file. A text editor like Notepad could limit the file to just the ones wanted, before importing into MS Money.

I normally wait until statements when dealing with my credit card, but clearly it IS possible to do what you wish with my credit card provider. Possibly it is also possible with AMEX. Given that it's possible to see recent transactions on their app, I would assume that you can probably download them from their website.

swill453
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Re: Tracking Finances in a digital contactless world?

#666298

Postby swill453 » May 28th, 2024, 5:40 pm

Urbandreamer wrote:I bought some food at the local Supermarket using my MBNA credit card between 3 & 4pm today. I've just logged on (5pm) and apparently it cost me £17.32.

Yes usually things are online instantly. If I buy a round at a bar, and maybe fail to check the amount the bar person put through the contactless card reader, by the time I get back to my seat I can fire up my credit card app on my phone and see the transaction.

Scott.

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Re: Tracking Finances in a digital contactless world?

#666306

Postby Urbandreamer » May 28th, 2024, 5:53 pm

Further to my last reply.

Can I suggest that people using MS Money or GNU Cash that have any issues importing transactions investigate a program that pre-dates them.
AWK is usually installed as standard on Linux and can easily be installed on Windows or Mac.

It's obscure, but can rearrange the columns in a CSV file with a couple of lines.

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Re: Tracking Finances in a digital contactless world?

#666334

Postby gpadsa » May 28th, 2024, 8:30 pm

Urbandreamer wrote:GNU Cash that have any issues importing transactions investigate a program that pre-dates them.
AWK is usually installed as standard on Linux

gnucash will import sensible csv from most sources but the csv output from one pension provider is so awful I took the path of least resistance & wrote a pre-processing bash script that does indeed use awk

gpadsa

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Re: Tracking Finances in a digital contactless world?

#666339

Postby UncleEbenezer » May 28th, 2024, 8:47 pm

Urbandreamer wrote:Further to my last reply.

Can I suggest that people using MS Money or GNU Cash that have any issues importing transactions investigate a program that pre-dates them.
AWK is usually installed as standard on Linux and can easily be installed on Windows or Mac.

It's obscure, but can rearrange the columns in a CSV file with a couple of lines.


:ugeek:

awk is a lot older than Linux, Windows (or DOS) or Mac. Very useful, and there are a lot of utilities that use it somewhere in a script and get used daily in millions of installations. But since the explosion of powerful scripting languages in the 1990s, it's been kind-of mostly the province of the Unix greybeard (like me), with perl, python, etc being the more modern choices.

Though now you mention it, yes I would still use awk if I needed to automate manipulation of CSV data piped from somewhere like my bank. It's still ideal for that.

[edit to add] And I wouldn't expect to need more than a single short line of awk in a pipe ;)

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Re: Tracking Finances in a digital contactless world?

#666353

Postby gpadsa » May 28th, 2024, 9:55 pm

UncleEbenezer wrote:[edit to add] And I wouldn't expect to need more than a single short line of awk in a pipe ;)

~$ wc myscript.sh 
35 231 1707 myscript.sh

nearly all of it is awk (single line but lots of \ linebreaks to make it readable) with a few lines of bash & documenting at the top - it really is a very bad csv file that it has to read

gpadsa

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Re: Tracking Finances in a digital contactless world?

#666360

Postby UncleEbenezer » May 28th, 2024, 10:32 pm

gpadsa wrote:
UncleEbenezer wrote:[edit to add] And I wouldn't expect to need more than a single short line of awk in a pipe ;)

~$ wc myscript.sh 
35 231 1707 myscript.sh

nearly all of it is awk (single line but lots of \ linebreaks to make it readable) with a few lines of bash & documenting at the top - it really is a very bad csv file that it has to read

gpadsa

I was thinking more along the lines of

wget bank-statement | awk '{print $fields-we-want}' | import-into-ms-money. Possibly with something like a grep in there if the data from the bank are not clean CSV.

Could be a daily cron job, and one might expand it to write a daily log.


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