Easy Expense Tracking

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Keeping Track of Your Expenses
(even if you have ADD)

Madelyn Griffith-Haynie introduces
Guest Blogger Ros Lederman

It Takes a Village

One of the things I love about blogging is access to the blogging community. 

I really appreciate meeting new members of The Tribe and learning something from THEM — no matter which streets of Alphabet City they consider their home turf: ADD, TBI, EFD, OCD, BPII, MDD – or any other disorder or dysregulation that impacts what I call The Attentional Spectrum.

Even if the things they write about are those I sort-of already knew, it lands differently when I read it in their words.

Like feasting on a dinner prepared by someone else, it tastes better when I don’t have to cook it myself. 

I’ll bet some of you feel the same way about some of my articles here on ADDandSoMuchMore.com.

HOWEVER, the sheer SIZE of WebUniverse makes it difficult to find new voices and to stay connected.  So, from time to time, I invite a fresh voice to write something for me to share with you – since I’ll bet you’re as overwhelmed with the banquet of information as I am.

The only problem is follow-through — part and parcel of the Executive Functioning struggles we all have to wrestle down.  I have learned to think of the guest blogs like surprise gifts – I’m never sure when they are coming, but I’m always thrilled with their arrival.

SO, without much further ado, take a look at our most recent surprise gift from a blogger soon to have a Masters Degree in writing, whose most impressive credential is that she is ALSO a member of Team ADD.

Take the time to check out her blogs – for a “relative newbie” to the ADD Tribe, she has been seriously focused on getting herself informed.  Take advantage of what she has learned. (Leave her feedback in the comments section to her GuestPost here to encourage her to do this AGAIN.  She has a lot to share with us.)

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ADHD (and Technology)-Friendly Ways
to Keep Track of Your Expenses

by Ros Lederman

Being money and spending conscious is not about remembering every purchase you’ve made in the last month at a moment’s notice. For us ADDers, that’s pretty much an impossible task anyway. Here’s a system I’ve put in place for myself that requires a minimum amount of remembering on my part and still helps me keep track of my money.

1.     Keep all of your receipts in one place

I keep mine in a pile on top of my dresser. There are neater ways to store receipts, such as in an envelope or paper clipped together. The important thing is that they’re all in one place for easy access.

2.     Create an expenses spreadsheet (example below)

Sure, you could use a fancy phone or tablet app to keep track of your money. Or you could just make a spreadsheet in a program such as Excel or Google Drive. (If you use Google Drive, be sure to set the privacy so that you’re the only one with access to the spreadsheet since it is saved online.)

Create a new tab in the spreadsheet for each month or billing cycle. I label my columns by date, location (i.e. Target, McDonald’s, Subway, etc.), type (i.e. restaurant, grocery, transportation, school, etc.), and total spent. Then I fill in the details from my receipts. I also color code by type so that I can get a visual as to where my money is going.

At the end of the month or billing cycle, you can see how much you’ve spent by adding up the “total” column.

3.     Set a reminder to fill out the spreadsheet a week before your credit card bill is due

Use a task list or set an alarm to remind yourself to fill out the spreadsheet before your credit card bill is due.

I recommend using Google Calendar. Create a new event for the day your bill is due and set as many reminders as you feel are necessary for about a week before the event. The cool thing about Google Calendar is that you can have the reminders sent to you via email, text message, or on-screen pop-up.

I usually choose all three reminder methods and stagger them throughout the week leading up to the event so that I have multiple opportunities to sit down and fill out my spreadsheet.

4.     Use a separate email address solely for online purchases

Don’t forget about those Amazon or Etsy purchases! Either print the receipts as soon as you’ve made the purchase or use a “junk” email account that only receives your purchase confirmation emails. Then you’ll have everything in one convenient location for expense tracking purposes.

5.     Shred and throw away receipts after you have paid your bill

Unless you think you might need to return an item on a receipt, there’s no need to keep it after it’s been logged in your expenses spreadsheet and you’ve paid the bill for it. Leaving receipts sitting around just creates unnecessary clutter.

MGH Comment: keep or scan ONLY receipts you will need for deductions or expenses on your taxes.
Depending on how the item is listed on your statement,
Uncle Sam might not accept your spreadsheet without further proof


About Ros Lederman

I was diagnosed with ADD shortly before my freshman year of high school. It took years for me to come to terms with my diagnosis (I’m in my mid-twenties now), and I am still working out the nuts and bolts of my survival strategies in a neuro-typical world, but I’d say I’ve got a hang of things for the most part.

I started my blog, Ros Writes, a few months ago as part of a class I took in digital publishing for my Masters degree in writing.

Blogging has been a great way for me to share my successes (no matter how small!) with the world in the hopes of helping others.

Feel free to check out my site and drop me a line: ros “at” roslederman “dot” com

More from Ros:

As always, if you want notification of new guest blogs – or any new posts on ADDandSoMuchMore.com – give your email address to the nice form on the top of the skinny column to the right. (You only have to do this once, so if you’ve already asked for notification about a prior series, you’re covered for this one too). STRICT No Spam Policy

IN ANY CASE, stay tuned.
There’s a lot to know, a lot here already, and a lot more to come – in this Series and in others.
Get it here while it’s still free for the taking.

Want to work directly with me? If you’d like some one-on-one (couples or group) coaching help with anything that came up while you were reading this Series, click HERE for Brain-based Coaching with mgh, with a contact form at its end, or click the E-me link on the menubar at the top of every page. Fill out the form, submit, and an email SOS is on its way to me; we’ll schedule a call to talk about what you need. I’ll get back to you ASAP (accent on the “P”ossible!)

Don’t Forget that I am on sabbatical from July 10, 2013 until the second week of September.

Related articles right here on ADDandSoMuchMore.com
(in case you missed them above)

Also check out:

Participating in Online Communities for Mutual Support
another tech-focused GuestBlog, thanks to New Zealand’s amazing Hazel Owen

About Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC
Award-winning ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching field co-founder; [life] Coaching pioneer -- Neurodiversity Advocate, Coach, Mentor & Poster Girl -- Multi-Certified -- 25 years working with EFD [Executive Functioning disorders] and struggles in hundreds of people from all walks of life. I developed and delivered the world's first ADD-specific coach training curriculum: multi-year, brain-based, and ICF Certification tracked. In addition to my expertise in ADD/EF Systems Development Coaching, I am known for training and mentoring globally well-informed ADD Coach LEADERS with the vision to innovate, many of the most visible, knowledgeable and successful ADD Coaches in the field today (several of whom now deliver highly visible ADD coach trainings themselves). For almost a decade, I personally sponsored and facilitated seven monthly, virtual and global, no-charge support and information groups The ADD Hours™ - including The ADD Expert Speakers Series, hosting well-known ADD Professionals who were generous with their information and expertise, joining me in my belief that "It takes a village to educate a world." I am committed to being a thorn in the side of ADD-ignorance in service of changing the way neurodiversity is thought about and treated - seeing "a world that works for everyone" in my lifetime. Get in touch when you're ready to have a life that works BECAUSE of who you are, building on strengths to step off that frustrating treadmill "when 'wanting to' just doesn't get it DONE!"

8 Responses to Easy Expense Tracking

  1. busydarling says:

    I’ve actually tried that, but couldn’t manage the tracking for prolonged time.
    I’ve had a few apps that helped, but at some point just ‘forgot’ about it.

    What does seem to help me is writing down ‘unusual’ expenses – not rent and groceries- and when they occur, making a habit out of paying bills first on payday and writing down expected expenses on a whiteboard in my study, where I see it often.

    Learning about my own behaviour patterns helps to recognise trouble early on.


    • Whadya’ know – we’ve finally found an area where we are alike (except for the “payday” and the “whiteboard,” that is).

      As an entrepreneur, I don’t get a paycheck. And since I’m reiventing myself and my busines, I’m scraping by and living small.

      I don’t currently live in an apartment large enough to have a study OR the empty wall space where I could hang anything much bigger than a large sticky note. (I tell myself it is good practice for when I move back to NYC)

      But I’m totally with you on tracking the ‘unusual’ expenses – not rent, utilities, meds, car or ‘normal’ food — and paying attention to my own behavior patterns.

      I pay bills as close to the first of the month as I can manage (ADD clients don’t intend to pay late, but they frequently are ::groan::) – and keep “close enough” track in my DayTimer™ and checkbook.

      What sucks for me are the biz expenses — they DO have to be tracked, even if only to hand them over to a bookkeeper or CPA — and it still always gives me fits.

      Any ideas there?


      • busydarling says:

        Well, my study is simply the extra room in my 3 room apartment. It is also my crafts room, store room and dry room. The white board is attached to a closet, and it works for me. I see it from the hallway and every time I enter the ‘study’. As a student I had a white board over my desk. I use different colours on it.

        And I’d use electronic banking for business expenses as far as possible. I’d probably make up a system in Excel and put a reminder in my phones to do list to update that info bi-weekly or something in that line. I have access to my bank account so I can see what went where and when, whenever I choose. And have a separate file for receipts and other papers, also updated bi weekly.

        Sort of an extension of what I am doing now with my private admin, I’d rather spend a weekly half hour than a morning a month.

        It is something I will have to learn to do in the next few years, as a GP I’ll start off as ‘running my own business’, without a set pay check, and I might end up running a practice at some point.


        • When I had an actual home OFFICE (vs. an efficiency-status area of my living room), I had white boards AND bulletin boards in addition to a library’s worth of bookshelves, files and storage units. HAD to have the bookshelves, so there went the walls.

          The only two closets in this place have SLIDING doors (hate them — took one set off ’til I move!!) My processing suffers for the lack of space to set up all my systems, but there’s nothing I can do but attempt to cope until it makes sense for me to move out.

          HOPE to be able to stand it until I can afford Manhattan (in a place big enough to have an OFFICE again!) Moving is a BEAR for me ALWAYS. I am hoping to avoid another incremental move, since I know I DO want to return to NYC and do not want to remain in Cincinnati for long.
          RE: biz expenses
          Admin is ALWAYS the hardest part of *any* endeavor – at least for my flavor of ADD. Hopefully, when you finally make the practice leap you will be able to hire administrative support. If you are planning to stay in the same field, I imagine you’ll have your hands FULL already!

          Gotta’ catch a nap – it’s seriously morning here.

          PS – what’s a dry room?


          • busydarling says:

            See, I don’t have many bookshelves because I don’t have many books.
            I hung it to to the side of the closet, not that it’s really important.
            And I do get that moving is…well… horrible…. but the point is that creativity sometimes helps a lot.

            A dry room is where I hang my clothes to dry.


            • dry . . . of course!

              books . . . I could stock a small library (bet you could have guessed that)

              moving . . bleh!

              but the creativity of figuring out solutions is, IMHO, almost the ADD reason for living!! Good point.



  2. cameron says:

    Thank you for this blog site. That’s almost all I can point out. You certainly have made this blog into a thing thats vision opening and also important. Anyone clearly realize so much on them, youve coated so many bases. Great products from this the main internet. Yet again, thank you for this blog.


    • Thank YOU for taking the time to acknowlege my work. It makes SUCH a difference to know I’m not blogging in the wilderness.

      Since you commented on a guest post article, I’m wondering if YOU have something to add to the conversation in a guest post?



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