How to Track Offline Expenses (and why you should)

Several months back, my husband and I spotted quite a few cash withdrawals in our online bank statement, and couldn’t really remember why we withdrew.

When we tried tracing back, we desperately had no clue, so we kept on adding those withdrawals as miscellaneous expenses. After a year, our miscellaneous expenses grew huge and literally burnt our fingers!

And when I started observing our spending trends, I realized that we are throwing away gas bills, laundry bills, and Travel bills thinking that they don’t make huge difference on our balance sheets. Those bills are nothing but miscellaneous expenses.

Friends – be it a penny spent or earned, have a receipt. And here’s how we started saving our receipts!

Get a Memo Holder!

You could get a memo holder from any stationary shops, or if this isn’t possible, just go for a simple plastic or cardboard box. The main objective here is to define a place to store all the bills.

“The main reason for me to choose this holder is that it holds nearly 500 bills. The holder has one open side, so I could easily access any bill after stacking.”

Holder to hold personal finance bills







Start Stacking Your Bills on it!

Once a common place is defined for the offline bills, the most important thing is to guide all your family members to stack their bills in the holder. In fact, the members had to be monitored for a week to habituate them to bring up this as a routine.

“Earlier, I used to feel lazy to take out the grocery bills from the carry bags, but then after several weeks of monitoring by my husband, I started placing the bills in the holder and got habituated to it :)”

How to track offline expenses in India






Paying without Bill? Have a Note

In the places where I’ve forgotten to get a bill, or if it isn’t possible to get one; I write the date , the service and the cost in a small piece of paper and put it inside the holder.

“I knew that it is hard to get bills for auto rides, pressing in petty shops and in the local grocery shops. So I started writing their individual expenses on a piece of paper to put them inside the holder “

Holder to hold personal finance bills








Start Calculating using this Excel Sheet!

We normally take out all the bills out of the holder at the end of each month, make all the entries in this excel sheet, and see where are we are spending more :).

“After analyzing our spending insights using the sheet, we came to know that we’re spending too much on expensive home appliances, and started cutting down the costs on them”

Offline Expense Tracker
Offline Expense Tracker









Click here to Download Expense Tracker

Related: How to bargain at a jewellery shop in India

Prabha is a User Interface Designer (Software design) + Entrepreneur, and a passionate home organiser. She was a spendthrift until she came across the book 'Millionaire next door'. In fact, this (the book) was her turning point towards frugality and financial freedom.


    Thanx for the post. Want to add here my thoughts. With the advent of smartphones it is much easier to track your expanses. I would like to mention 2 apps here. One is Gullak and the other one is Walnut. Both of them can track your expanses from SMSs that you receive while you transact your credit card or debit card or withdraw from ATM. So it’s completely automated process. The only thing is that you have to manually add cash expanses. In Walnut you can even save a copy your bill receipt as image. Also it’s possible to back up your data (in digital format of course) and hence you can keep a record for ages. Both the apps will you a graphical record of your spendings on daily/weekly/monthly basis. Also the apps will take care of any of your bills and will remind you before the due date. Please do give a try.

    Thank you my friend!

    Unfortunately I wouldn’t be able to try Walnut as I’m an ios user but will try Gulak and update it on my blog if it suits my requirements!

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