The private accounting
Keeping track of personal finances should be a priority for every household, but it can often be a complicated matter. A budget book should be kept so that private bookkeeping still works as well as possible.
There are numerous variants available to the consumer, which enable private accounting. In addition to classic tools such as analog writing or calculation programs such as Excel or Numbers, corresponding apps can also help with the creation of a budget book.
In this regard, Stiftung Warentest carried out a study with six test subjects who tested the respective options for their advantages and disadvantages.
The right preparation
Over a period of three months, participants recorded their finances using the programs of their choice. What is certain is that all variants take a certain amount of time.
Preparation must also be made for all variants, because individual expenses require their own accounts. The budget book consists of different sub-accounts for each household. While a family of four usually books expenses for groceries, school supplies, excursions and the like in addition to fixed costs, visits to bars, the cinema and other cost factors are the focus for single households.
Once the individual sub-accounts have been created, the expenses for all variants can be noted relatively easily.
The three methods
All methods of private bookkeeping ultimately serve their purpose – income and expenditure are clearly displayed at the end of the month. However, the different variants offer different advantages and disadvantages.
The analog household book is created quickly and inexpensively, but it is subject to certain disadvantages in everyday life. Accordingly, the constant carrying of the book can turn out to be a nuisance, as the test subject Friederike Zobel explains to Stiftung Warentest. After a few weeks she noted the daily expenses in her calendar and added them to the book that evening. In addition, the calculation must be carried out manually at the end of the month, which means that the analog variant requires an additional work step.
Accordingly, spreadsheet programs such as Excel save the consumer this step and constant carrying around, thanks to the appropriate smartphone apps, is possible with this method. In order to set up a functioning household book here, however, some basic knowledge of the software is required. If these are available, the calculation is more or less automatic.
Accounting apps represent the third variant. Here too, thanks to the smartphone, the budget book is always carried in your pocket, which means that entries can be made at any time. In addition, no further knowledge is required, but cuts in terms of customization must be accepted, this is not the case with the other methods.
Convenience also comes at a price; with one exception, the apps tested were all chargeable, provided all functions were to be used. The apps also left a lot to be desired in terms of data protection.
Which method is suitable for whom, ultimately depends on personal preferences. All test subjects invested an average of around ten minutes a day in recording the expenses and were thus able to obtain a better financial overview.
Henry Ely / Forex-news.com.net editors
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