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View Poll Results: How Many Financial Transactions Do You Make Per Month?
<25 35 47.95%
<50 10 13.70%
<75 8 10.96%
<100 12 16.44%
>=100 8 10.96%
Voters: 73. You may not vote on this poll

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Poll-How Many Financial Transactions Do You Make Per Month?
Old 03-30-2011, 10:52 AM   #1
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Poll-How Many Financial Transactions Do You Make Per Month?

I quit MS Money at the end of last year, and went to a simple daily journal spreadsheet with maybe 8 or 10 categories. I put all receipts into my billfold, and enter them when I come home or the next day. I enter checks when they are written, auto-pays and bill pays from my bank account usually once per week. I am not keeping CC balances, so I don't enter a transaction when I pay a CC bill, only when I buy goods or services.

In January I had 93 separate transactions, February 66, and this month 76. So I am averaging 78 transactions/month.

The huge majority of my transactions are for food- groceries and less commonly food out. I buy food most every day. Next would be entertainment, then medical (Medicare, Supplement, Pt D, pharmacy, vitamins, gym.) I have only 3 home related expenses, my monthly rent and bi-monthly electricity and then once per year renter's insurance.

I classify according to the end purpose. For example if I eat alone at some cheap or medium cheap place, it is "food". If I go with someone else to a Happy Hour or nice restaurant it is entertainment. If I buy halibut to eat at home alone it is food; if I buy halibut to serve to GF it is entertainment. OTOH if I give her breakfast or something I am going to have anyway it is "food".

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Old 03-30-2011, 11:13 AM   #2
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You must be a lot busier than I am, I only had 24 transactions in Feb and 31 for March. Add 5 more if you want to also count deposits.
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Old 03-30-2011, 11:21 AM   #3
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Fuel and food (divided into groceries and dining out), plus entertainment (usually when we drink more at dinner than eat, or food for parties) are our most plentiful categories.
We don't have that many regular bills.
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Old 03-30-2011, 11:42 AM   #4
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Fewer than 25 transactions in a month is plenty for me.

I generally get money from the ATM about twice a month. We eat lunch out almost every day and pay in cash so this would show up as only 2 transactions instead of 30 transactions. Also covered with cash are the payments to my lawn guy every week or two, and an occasional medical co-pay. Everything else shows up in my bank transactions.

I had 23 transactions last month, 6 of which were deposits and 17 were not. I spent some of my tax refunds, resulting in more numerous expenditures than usual.

The month before was more usual, with 18 transactions of which 5 were deposits, and 13 were not.
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Old 03-30-2011, 11:49 AM   #5
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Fewer than 25; got rid of several debts and got the check writing down to 10/month and a couple of ATM withdrawals for spending money.
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Old 03-30-2011, 12:05 PM   #6
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For the last couple of months, it's just been the necessities, so less than ten for me. I've been so busy I haven't had time to go out and spend much. But since I'm having fun with what I'm doing now, it's a fair trade.
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Old 03-30-2011, 12:13 PM   #7
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Voted > 100 but we have 3 rentals, still work and use debit card for everything possible (maybe have to use cash 2x/month).

Counted all transactions for March in Quicken - exact number was 137.
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Old 03-30-2011, 12:39 PM   #8
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Thirty five but five of them were for upcoming travel so my usual amount is around 29 . I do carry cash for occasional lunches out but everything else gets paid with my ATM and then entered . I tracked my expenses for six years and they never really varied so now I just loosely watch them . I do track my travel expenses because that is one category that tends to be high .
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Old 03-30-2011, 12:41 PM   #9
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>75. Average for 3 months = 78
Jan - 108; //I was still working and I charge everything including candy bar from vending machine.
Feb - 68;
Mar - 59;
Many of the charges are for gasoline which will be reduced come April when DW retires.
Also from Quicken.
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Old 03-30-2011, 12:56 PM   #10
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Less than 25 for me, but not much less. A few monthly bills, a few trips to the supermarket, one or two gasoline purchases, and about 10 dance nights per month put me near 20. Throw in the less frequent bills averaged per month such as health insurance, car insurance, dental visits, and income taxes, and I am in the low 20s.
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Old 03-30-2011, 01:00 PM   #11
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I save all receipts until they are entered, so whether I pay with cash, CC, DebitCard, check, or bank account debit, each one is an expense transaction and gets recorded. I keep track of dividends, interst payments, etc. on a different sheet.

When I used a general ledger I had a petty cash account, and all acounts had to balance. But it got left behind in windows changes, and I didn't have the skill to do it over.

Now I have no built-in way to catch omissions as it is a simple single entry system, but overall I think it is pretty good and very easy to maintain.

I would not feel comfortable not recording expenses. I am much less attentive to the jiggles of my investment account balances, while I do follow the news and disclosures on each individual company.

Interesting that the poll shows a skewed bi-modal distribution.

Ha
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Old 03-30-2011, 01:20 PM   #12
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I wonder if the people with <25 are counting cash purchases?

I spend some cash almost every day. My wife does almost as much. In addition, we do about 10 credit card transactions per month and 17 checks (including autopay). We've got a two person household.
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Old 03-30-2011, 01:24 PM   #13
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I see that it appears that haha counts each use of a credit card as a transaction. That all good and fine, but it's not what we do.

We count each card as one transaction: the transaction to pay it. We can look at the bill to see if there is any funny business going on, but otherwise we do not divide up the charges into categories or otherwise enter them anywhere.

At one point, we used a single credit card for gasoline, a different card for groceries, and another card for everything else. That way we captured how much we spent on gas and groceries without doing any work other than choosing the right card from the wallet.

Since we rarely use cash, but try to use a credit card for everything, we have reduced the black hole of accounting -- the Miscellaneous category -- to under $50 a month.
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Old 03-30-2011, 01:49 PM   #14
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Financial transactions per month? probably close to 200 if I include all transactions related to income (tax payments, paychecks, interests...), investments (account-to-account transfers, buy/sell activity, dividends, 401k contributions,...), and spending.

Financial transactions related to spending only? 81. Lots of small food and iTunes purchases.
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Old 03-30-2011, 01:55 PM   #15
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I don't keep track of the number but between DW and me it has to be 100 or more. We have a sort of market conglomerate (butcher, deli, veggies, cheese, fish, bakery) around the corner, plus lots of restaurants, drug stores, etc within a few blocks so we go out for small purchases frequently. I will get in the mood for an Argentine sausage sub at lunch and walk over to the market and get a couple of sausages from the deli guy and a small baguette from the bakery. Later the same afternoon, DW will get a wild hair up her bum about something unusual for dinner so I will go back and pick something up from the butcher or vegetable market.
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Old 03-30-2011, 02:08 PM   #16
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I doubt i've ever had 25 in any single month in my life. I'm usually around 15. I just finished this month(I won't spend anything the rest of today or tomorrow):

Mar.'11
3/1 ann. exp. 150.00
3/1 cell phone: 55.00
3/1 condo fee: 115.00
3/2 cable:117.00 ---just canceled my cable so this will be gone next month
3/3 groceries:37.00
3/4 electric bill:174.00
3/8 groceries:46.00
3/8 gas:22.00
3/11 misc.:30.00
3/16 groceries:53.00
3/16 gas:30.00
3/21 groceries:55.00
3/21 haircut:12.00
3/24 misc.:5.00
3/30 groceries:61.00
3/30 gas:31.00
Total: $993

The "annual exp." category I have at the top is a monthly average for property taxes,AAA membership,car registration,home insurance, and car insurance.
 
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Old 03-30-2011, 02:22 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Independent View Post
I wonder if the people with <25 are counting cash purchases?
I don't own a credit card so all my purchases are with cash unless it's something that's automatically deducted from my checking. I record every purchase,even the rare time I buy something from the vending machine at work, that would go down as $1-$2 for food. However, if I get groceries then stop on the way home to get fast food, which I do at least once per month, then I just add the fast food to the grocery total. Bottom line is every dollar is accounted for(I round up).
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Old 03-30-2011, 04:07 PM   #18
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I couldn't figure out how to didn't vote. What's a transaction?

Is it buying something, a pack of gum for instance?
Is it paying a bill?
Is it giving money to a panhandler charity?

We track our spending by occasionally annually seeing how much has disappeared from our bank accounts and subtracting any that went to investment. How many of these? Who cares, it's the total that matters.
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Old 03-30-2011, 04:30 PM   #19
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I keep a general ledger. Not counting credit card transactions, but counting paying three seperate credit card bills in full every month. I also count deposits for salary, expense accounts, etc. as individual transactions. In January I had 41 transactions and February 42. I would have no idea of tracking cash transactions. I also probably have 20 -30 credit card transactions per month because I travel on business, pay for gas, and purchase books for my Kindle on credit cards.

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Old 03-30-2011, 04:43 PM   #20
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I would have no idea of tracking cash transactions.
That's a really bad sign. Every time you spend money, you make a note of how much you spent. It's not that hard.
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