So I track my spending and income in Mint for the most part but I also have a spreadsheet in Google documents. This spreadsheet is where my actual budget was created before I copied the numbers to Mint and every time I make a change to the budget I use the spreadsheet first so that I can see the effect on the numbers.

I enter my receipts into the spreadsheet manually so that I can have very detailed look at where my money goes. It also helps me to see the percentage of my budget that is spent on each category because I do not see this feature in Mint.

I find it very useful for tracking the unexpected income and any cash that I may have used because it is just easier for me to enter receipts here than in Mint.

At the end of the year I was going to retire the spreadsheet but then I had to pay tuition and I decided to keep it. The reason I kept it was because the amount that pay for tuition every semester will throw my monthly budget off. The money for tuition is in a separate Tuition sub account in ING and is not part of my monthly budget.

Now that I have decided to roll my monthly budget from January to December, it means that the category where tuition falls under will be in the red for a few months. In Mint this will look like I have been overspending constantly and I am really bothered by that even though I know I should not be.

By keeping my spreadsheet I can see what I really do spend for the month by excluding the tuition so that I can tell if I have been keeping under my budget.

I am aware that I could just exclude the amount from Mint….but then I would not have an accurate picture of what I spend in tuition. It might seem like a bit of extra work but I have been doing it this way for the last year so it is not a stretch for me.