Mom’s Old-School Daily Expense Tracker — and My Samsung Notes

Mom's Old-School Daily Expense Tracker — And My Samsung Notes

Fun fact — however heavy and overfull your weekend bayong or grocery bag may be, still you visit the nearby sari-sari store weekdays after. And it may be for black pepper or any other cooking ingredients.

Now, you might be thinking already about your kitchen cupboard and what has just been emptied out. Go check then before your grocery trip.

Daily expenses can either be expected and unexpected. You’ve got the transpo fares expected. You’ve got the small can of liver spread unexpected.

No worries, the unexpected ones should not necessarily be equated to inefficient household budgeting. After all, it’s in the Filipino culture to buy tingi. But I hope they do not hurt much the budget.

How do you track these unforeseen and unplanned expenses (and maybe, you can have a realistic contingency fund next time)?

Well, my mom has her old-school and yet still effective way of doing this.

Mom’s Old-School Daily Expense Tracker

Both mom and dad stayed with us over the holiday. Mom came earlier in November for her medical checkup. With us busy as bees, she took over the apartment, particularly the kitchen.

She did all the cooking (except for our Christmas celebration that I volunteered myself). As expected, she was at the frontline of all these small expenses for at least a month. And I already miss them both and the after-work comfort food.

After Christmas and while decluttering, I found a piece of paper pressed under a figurine on the TV rack. It was a simple list of items, mostly cooking ingredients, with their corresponding prices.

I almost laughed to see that even a laurel leaf worth a peso was on the list. I missed taking a photo that I could have shared here. Nonetheless, I easily recognized the handwriting. It was Mom’s.

Back in the province and in our nipa hut with a single lampara at night, my mom would take out a piece of yellow paper (sometimes, would ask any of us for one) from her buri-woven folder of documents and start listing down all expenses throughout the day, and even the palista (for crediting) from Auntie Helen’s or Auntie Tiyang’s sari-sari store.

I should say that mom had the amazing accounting skills, well even until now. Whenever it was time for her to pay off or down the store debts after a month (sometimes even months), she would take her own lists to the store owners and even compare these with theirs.

Most of the time, hers was the final basis as she couldn’t miss a single item. And she’s also a woman of integrity.

Well, it’s no wonder my two other sisters are now CPAs.

Samsung Notes: My Daily Expense Tracker

Tracking daily expenses needs not be complicated, nor technically sophisticated. I want it just simple and convenient. That’s my straight take on it.

Underrated and commonly ignored by Samsung smartphone users, Samsung Notes does the trick for me. It suffices my minimalist taste. Dark gray texts against the white background, for instance, offer such a neat appearance.

Bigger plus for me, it’s very convenient as it is a built-in app, and it doesn’t require an internet connection unless I export my notes in PDF or Word to my email. I even use it for typing article drafts that even at the worst toilet hour, I can always continue and refine them. I have it at my fingertips.

How do I exactly use Samsung Notes for tracking daily expenses? At the start of each month, I create a new Notes file and have it titled, e.g., January 2023.

Mom's Old-School Daily Expense Tracker — And My Samsung Notes
I simply write down dates, items, and costs, nothing more. That’s how my daily expense tracking with Samsung Notes works.

Daily expenses are then simply listed as shown in the photo with the simplified dates first, followed by the items and the costs. Soon I add items initially missed recording, anytime and anywhere I remember them.

Before the month ends, I total them all. Since these expenses are shared by the household members, I then proceed to dividing the total amount, hence coming up with the individual contributions. Then, I simply take a screenshot and send it to our group chat.

Samsung Notes allows me to create new notes, view notes, edit notes, and even sync these notes with other Galaxy devices.

As Samsung itself describes it, “Samsung Notes is like having a handy dandy notebook on your phone. You can write digital or handwritten notes whenever you get an idea and save them for later.”

So, how do you track your daily expenses, especially the small ones? Tell us in the comments.

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