Ok, I’ve had quite a few of you ask me how I keep track of my monthly totals: what counts as a free item, how I record my receipts, how I keep track of my rebates, etc. *sigh* The truth is, it’s so complex to talk, or type, it out but it’s so easy to do in my head. But, since I love you all, I’ll go through this agony just this once. BUT, in order to make this a little easier, I’ll ask you all to ask me specific questions about how I track everything and then I can answer back. I have been working on a post about this for the past 2 weeks and it turning out to be waaaaay to long for how simple this is for me. I had to break down the “break downs” and it was boring to read and sucked to write. I deleted it and that was that.
Now, here’s how we’ll do it. Leave me your questions in the comments section of this post and I’ll tackle them one by one. Once the question is posted, I’ll put it in this post along with the answer. So, by the end of the “town hall” we’ll still have a post with all of the questions and answers all together. Sounds like a plan? Cool. So get at it, you all. I’m a budgetting open book!
I’m always amazed at your rebate totals. Are they all rebate checks or do you include catalinas and ECBs?
Great question Lucky! I do count my catalinas, Register Rewards, and ECBs as rebates. Some count them as coupons and still count them in their rebates. The way I see it, I have to buy something in order to get these “instant rebates” so they should be counted as rebates in my totals. Now, I do use them to pay for my future purchases along with any actual rebate money that comes back to me.
Do you use specific software or spreadsheets?
Do you record data throughout the month or do you keep receipts and recap at the end of the month!?
Heather sneaked in a second question but I’ll let it slide this time :o)
I just use the basic Microsoft excel and I created my own different cells. I try my hardest to record all of my data as soon as I get in from shopping, but sometimes I get backed up and have to save the receipts for a day when I have down time. One month I did wait until the end of the month and it was horrible! I didn’t realize how much of my budget I had used up(I still didn’t go over though) and it felt like I had to put in 50 receipts!
How do you classify BOGO items. Do you count them as one being free or both of them at 50% off?
I classify them as one being free. That’s how my stores here classify them, which can be hard when trying to use a coupon on the “free” item, but I still count them as free in my totals.