Logistics of managing the daily budget?
My wife and I have historically struggled with managing our budget. Not because our money priorities are out of whack, or we have too much debt, etc. Rather it's just a time issue. One person has historically been slated to enter in all the transactions, reconcile the statements, etc. I typically have not found the "download all your transactions" features of most banks to be very useful, since the transaction descriptions are often generic. Additionally, my thinking has always been that if I can just download everything, that will encourage me to be lazy and not look at it until download time. The problem is simply that we're very busy people. I realize we're not alone in that, but when you work all day, do kids' activities in the evening, finally get dinner and laundry done about 9 and then have a couple hours to try to spend together before bed, it's really easy to let the daily "let's gather up all our slips, enter them and see where we are with our budget" go. And of course once it has slipped a couple of days, now it's a bigger chore requiring more time to get caught up. If you let it go all week, it takes up a large part of your already-filled up weekend. Eventually, we get so far behind we're not tracking it closely enough and start to have overruns. I almost wonder if I'd be better off finding some accounting student nearby to hire to come in, track all this stuff and produce reports, but it seems rather silly to spend money to track our spending so we don't spend too much money. I'm curious to hear what has worked for others. Are we just lazy? Did you suffer from this problem and fix it? Are there services or solutions which have made your lives much easier in this regard? It may be that there is no answer beyond "suck it up and do it." I'm just hopeful that others have faced the same issue and found some answers which if nothing else, at least made it easier.