In addition to my Business Account, I created a “Business” that I use to record my personal expenditure.
I broke the Profit and Loss section up into three main sections:
Non Essential Expenditure
Within each section, I have added Expenses such as Car Maintenance under Annual, Gas, food, water under Monthly and Holidays, Restaurants under Non Essential.
This was very helpful in providing a quick overview of how much I spend a month and how much I am spending on broad categories like Gas, Electricity, eating out etc. Which was useful to some extent and made me aware of how much I was spending eating out.
Initially when I started my Personal Business as well as the Company Business I was creating every payment and receipt manually effectively. In addition, I was trying to record how much I was spending on food such as meat, dairy, vegetables etc by itemising each expense from supermarket receipts. For this reason, the Personal Business was not really being used properly as it was too time consuming.
I then moved to importing bank statements for both business and personal accounts. This really helped reduce the amount of time (and errors that crept in ) by not longer manually creating receipts and payments in Manager.
However, while bank imports works very well for petrol, council tax, car insurance, restaurants etc, it doesn’t really work for me in terms of analysing grocery expenditure as all purchases from Supermarkets are recorded in the Foods account. The thing with council tax, petrol, car insurance it’s one item and thus easy to see what you are spending. Supermarket expenditure covers a range of expenditure - alcohol, meat, dairy, sweets, ready made meals, laundry powder etc to name a few.
The whole point of my personal accounts isn’t simply to record everything I spend, but rather to be able to use that data to reduce my monthly/annual spending costs. For a lot of categories such as restaurants I was able to achieve this. But this is not achievable with supermarket groceries.
As I now import bank statements and Manager does support cloning for most transactions now, would it be possible for me to import bank statements once a week and then using the receipts I have got and Manager cloning to as much as possible break down the Food Category into Dairy, Meat, Fish etc?
I am also considering a program like this - Gathering data by scanning supermarket receipts with OCR & ML - Klippa which would allow me to scan supermarket receipts and categorise them accordingly and then on subsequent scans it would allocate to whatever category. They also seem to support integrating their system with various accounting programs, so might be an option as scanning receipts and automatically adding to correct categories is so much more desireable than having to manually do everything in Manager (for this aspect).
Could I achieve what I want in Manager without too much manual effort as I largely buy the same supermarket staples every month so maybe I could create a template payment form that has everything on and just delete items that I have not bought that week/month. However, if I import the bank statements, I cannot create new payments obviously as the payment has already been recorded via bank import.
The end result that I want to achieve is to make it easy to see how much I spend on fruit, vegetables, alcohol etc every month so I can see that I can make savings by cutting down on fish, which is not cheap anymore!
Or failing that, would it make more sense to use Manager to track main expenditure such as gas, elec etc and use something like klippa to more comprehensively analase supermarket expenditure. In point of fact, thinking about it, Manager records how I much I spend each month on gas and electricity, but that is actually my direct debit, not how much I am actually using each month. I have a spreadsheet that records the actual usage monthly cost as well as the direct debit amount. So Manager isn’t really accurately recording my gas/electricity usage bcause it only records the direct debit month. Not Manager’s fault as it’s not intended to do what I am trying to achieve.
I don’t know if any one else has tried to manage their personal finances and reduce their supermarket shopping bill. But any thoughts would be appreciated to decide whether I should use Manager to do this or rather use an app such as the one that I am considering?