In need of *easy* method for tracking multiple sources of income.
January 2, 2008 5:43 PM   Subscribe

I want to simply my recording-keeping. Seeking an *easy* method for tracking multiple sources of income.

I am a student who does odd jobs, participates in market research, sells on Ebay, and does freelance gigs.

I track my income, which varies significantly week by week, but haven't really come up with a good system of doing this. Basically, I'd like to keep accurate records of how much I'm making from each type of work every month. Also, a system for recording whether freelance invoices have been paid.

So far I've been using Excel, but I am not an Excel wizard and wonder if there's a better program that would allow me to run reports (average income by month, pie charts, etc). However, I have very limited time and patience for learning new software. Since I want to simply my recording-keeping, I am looking for a simple system. Something dummy proof!

If it turns out that Excel is the simplest solution, are there pre-formatted Excel templates that I can download that would help me with this sort of record-keeping?
posted by mintchip to Work & Money (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I make invoices in word, and email them to the client, forwarding a copy to myself so it lands in my gmail inbox. I leave it there as a new item, still marked as UNREAD, until it's paid. When it's paid, I reply to myself on the same thread, "PAID, X DATE" tag it with "2007 INVOICE" and archive it. When I want an overview of what I've made all year, I ask gmail to bring up a list of everything tagged 2007 INVOICE. It's a bit ghetto, but it's easy and it works for me. I also refer back to my day planner at the end of the year to see if I've missed any gigs, as that's the one place I know for sure I recorded it. Good luck!
posted by pseudostrabismus at 6:19 PM on January 2, 2008 ?
posted by cmgonzalez at 6:25 PM on January 2, 2008

I know it might seem complicated, but QuickBooks really, really does the job. It definitely has been worth the small effort to learn it for me.
posted by cmicali at 7:15 PM on January 2, 2008

I bookmarked the SideJobTrack website at some point, but haven't used it myself.
posted by oldtimey at 7:24 PM on January 2, 2008

To track multiple incomes, I use Quicken on a Mac but am hoping to switch to something (1) online and (2) as far from the Mac-hostile Intuit as possible. I may try even though it's for New Zealand and I'm banking in the US. Both Quicken and Xero will let you create graphs of your income and determine what source is making you the most money and so forth.

Re tracking invoices: While I work, I keep track of my time using TimeEqualsMoney. It can produce a simple invoice but I'm a design freak, so I make my own cooler PDF invoices in Pages.

Once I've emailed an invoice, I print it and put it in an "outstanding invoices" folder. When the client pays it, I mark it paid and move it into a different folder. To see who owes me what, I just look in the "outstanding" folder. I tend to have big projects and invoice once a month so there aren't that many invoices to track.
posted by PatoPata at 8:04 PM on January 2, 2008

Quicken is super easy to use for this application and much cheaper than Quickbooks.

Just set up a cash flow account and your checking account. Enter all money made into cash flow account according to category, when making a deposit to the bank (checking), it will come from cash flow account. That way you will have an accurate income accounting with money from several sources.

Email if I can be of further help!
posted by JujuB at 8:11 PM on January 2, 2008

Blinksale is an invoicing webapp. it has a free version.
posted by misterbrandt at 8:12 PM on January 2, 2008

I use MoneyManagerEx, it's very simple but might do a bit more than you want.
posted by jacalata at 12:53 AM on January 3, 2008

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