A Slow-Tech Approach to Tracking Spending

Ten years ago, I tracked every penny of our family’s spending. That’s good, right? Over time, however, I lost sight of why I was doing it and eventually stopped. Recently, I decided to try it again, and I find myself having the same mental conversation every time I sit down with my receipts.

“I don’t have time for this. Is there any way to make this easier? Can I pay someone to do this for me or use something that does it for me, like Mint?” Then I grab a receipt, and my thought switches to, “I didn’t realize I’d spent so much eating out this month.”

There are plenty of websites, apps and services that have simplified our personal finances. Mint automatically downloads transactions for all our financial accounts. Level Money provides a beautiful snapshot of what it calls “your spendable money at any moment.” There are also scanning apps that make it easy to capture receipts. It’s all so easy, but I can’t escape the sneaking suspicion that relying on automation is costing me something.

Read the rest of the article on the New York Times.