Question: I have actual receipts for March, then I have the credit card statement that I paid in March (but actual receipts are for February+March). So…the money leaves my bank account when I pay the credit card statement. Question: for March, do I enter the expenditures according to the credit card statement (mostly February transactions), or according to my ‘spending’, i.e. I buy groceries using my PC Mastercard, but don’t pay for it until April (receipt dated March)?
Answer: So, the question boils down to: “Do I enter my receipts in to PearBudget when I swipe my credit card, or when I pay the credit card bill?”
Our recommendation is that you enter the receipts as happening on the day of the transaction, not the date you pay the bill.
We can explain this in more detail, but the gist of it is that you’re entering your receipts, in large part, to notice patterns in your spending that you want to change. If you’re entering your transactions in in big blobs, it’s not going to allow you to see those patterns as easily. Also, it’s just plain simpler if you treat your swiping of your credit card as the point in time when the money leaves your account. Let us know if that doesn’t make sense, or if you have any other questions on it. Best way is to e-mail us: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I understand the idea of tracking patterns but I still have a concern about entering CC transactions on the day of the swipe vs. entering CC transactions on the date of payment. If I want to look at the monthly summary as a way to determine how much money I have left after I subtract expenses from income then I would need to enter the CC transactions on the date of payment. The expense charged to a credit card doesn’t actually subtract from my income until the money leaves the checking account. If I bought furniture on credit from a furniture store in March then I wouldn’t record the purchase in March. I would enter each monthly payment in the month in which it was paid. However, if tracking expenses is the main goal then I would agree that one would enter the CC transaction on the day of the swipe.