I down load my expenses from Mint in a CSV file and at the end of every month I cut and paste the months transactions into a spreadsheet from the CSV file. To down load the CSV look for this link at the bottom of the transaction page after everything has updated.
The CSV file looks something like this
This is a partial readout from May. Had a lot of Amazon activity this May because of supplies following my surgery
My spread sheet looks like this
It is simply month after month of the year out to Dec using the same format as the CVS file so I cant cut and paste each month’s data into its place in the spread sheet
I set it up so each year next to a month is linked to the $c$1 value which is the year. So “Spending Feb” has as it’s year as $c$1 Spending Mar has $c$1 etc. In other words wherever I want the year to show up I type =$C$1 in the cell (the = is important. The entire spreadsheet changes to whatever value I put in cell C1. By doing this I can create a new year simply by cutting and pasting
Here is spending year 2021. All I have to do is cut and paste and put the right number in C1 and the whole year changes. I have out to year 2022 created and each year has its own sheet
to populate a given month with data I cut and paste that data Here is a partial of the month from May
I just cut and paste from “date” on down to the bottom of the month. I have to do a slight data massage. Notice how most everything is a debit but there is one credit. On credits I change the sign of the value
Next I merely Autosum the column
and voila the partial sum of May 2019 spending. I can update the month as often as I like till the next month starts. It’s just cut paste change credits to a negative autosum, takes only a couple minutes to have an accurate readout of the month’s spending. I some times transfer money between accounts using command account which is my checkbook. Those transactions I simply set the transfer “value” to 0 in the data column and write the transfer amount out to the side under “notes” to track that transaction. I keep track of tax payments like this also since I consider taxes a transfer and not a monthly expense and it makes it easy to track. taxes paid for the year. My credit card gets paid off on the first of every month and results in a debit and credit of equal value being generated so I simply set credit to negative and that along with debit results in a 0 transaction but any given month I can easily spot my credit card bill and when it was paid.
A bit complicated to set up but EASY to use. I also can track yearly expenses and ask “what if” questions of the data. Since each month is accurate each year is accurate and a “whole year” is merely the sum of each month. Once I have a year’s data it’s trivial to understand how expenses are varying year to year and you can create your own personal inflation index if you like.
Here is a shot of multiple years I have created but not yet populated. I retired is 2017 so the first “year” is actually 17 mos long
I keep my spreadsheet auto-saved in the cloud so if my computer blows up my data doesn’t and I can access my data across computers on my network. Just before completing this post, my power glitched but I was auto-saved so I lost nothing. My wife pays her credit cards using command so I get a readout of her credit card expenses but I DO NOT track her specific spending. If you want to track multiple credit cards just set that up in Mint
Funny thing I thought May 2019 would stand out as an expensive month and it did, but I checked May 2018 and it was nearly as expensive since my kid graduated college in May 2018 which required a lot of plane trips and motel expense and celebration. Looking over May 2018 was a nice walk down memory lane