Ever since I’ve gotten myself in the habit of tracking our income, expenses, and recording every penny, paying bills has actually become…dare I say….. fun. Yes, it’s still mundane and a task that must be done, but once I actually sit down and do it – which is once a month –  I find it calming. Part of the reason I no longer panic when it comes to paying bills is that I’ve taken control of our money. Instead of a feeling of dread that the bills might swallow me, tracking my income and expenses have allowed me to know I can pay the bills each month.

This is a great feeling.

Many people might think flippantly about income and expenses if they have a steady paycheck. But living off an ever-fluctuating one can make bill paying painful and scary. How did I go from terrified to calming? Recording, tracking, and enjoying bar graphs and pie charts.

Yes, my friends, I’m a dork. I like colorful pie charts and comparing bar graphs from one year to the next which has been very helpful in my quest towards financial freedom. I’m not quite there, but I’m getting closer. I can average out my income over a few months, save the surplus in good months to cover the scarcity in not-so-good months, and figure out how to pay every bill on time and save a little each month.

Not rocket science, but a feat that I’ve been able to tackle successfully on an inconsistent income.

With a little more practice, I might consider myself a pro and even offer my services for a fee. Quickbooks help anyone?

Have you recently taken charge of your personal finances and feel relieved?


  1. TB at BlueCollarWorkman Reply

    Yes, back when my wife and I were getting started and had NOTHING paying bills sucked. Really sucked. We never knew if we’d make it or not. But now that we spend less than we earn, well, getting bills doesn’t suck so bad. It’s just another part of life now.

  2. I have religiously tracked my income and expenses for many years, well over 17, at any rate. I agree with you wholeheartedly, and yes, I too enjoy looking at my numbers. I do my own income and expense statement at each month’s end,and of course, as we approach year’s end, I do my annual review, which always sheds so much light on where I stand compared to previous years, from one expense category to the other.

    Since a 2009 layoff, I’ve earned a living as a freelance writer, and my income is also highly sporadic. when i was working steadily, I socked away savings, always maxing out my 401k and IRAs, so the cushion of savings I built much earlier on has allowed me to survive for the past 3 years without totally losing it. In fact, I have not yet dipped into savings as a wide variety of freelance, contract and p/t jobs have helped me make ends meet. Last summer, I was able to pay off my 30-yr mortgage after just 17 years, so in hindsight, prepaying my mortgage from the start was another great move that has really helped me out now that times are tough.

    • @Fern – Wow! It sounds like you are great at budgeting and saving. It’s impressive you were able to knock out a 30-year mortgage in 17 years on an irregular income. Good for you!

  3. I too, must confess, to being a dork when it comes to tracking personal finances. I actually find it theraputic, and become agitaed without access to internet and quicken to stay on top of it all.

    Track it, measure it, improve it…it’s all about goal setting.

  4. Money Beagle Reply

    I am totally with you. There is a good feeling watching the balances go down on things you owe 🙂

  5. Lance @ Money Life and More Reply

    I’ve been in charge for a while but I do enjoy paying the bills… then I don’t have to think about them for another month!

    • @Lance -That’s what I like about paying the bills all at once (or scheduling them at one time) – bills are done and I can think about other things for a few weeks!

  6. nicoleandmaggie Reply

    Yes, I also kind of like doing my bills. Mine are also due the same time every month.

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