Keeping Track of Expenses with Gougou: A User's Review
Tough Start: My Budgeting Journey from USD to NTD in Taiwan
When I first moved from the United States to Taiwan, keeping track of my money was a little tough. The main reason it was tough for me was due to the USD having cents, whereas NTD doesn’t have a cent system. Outside of that I was also on a strict budget. At the time I was a student and didn’t have any job in Taiwan, meaning that I had to live off of my savings.
At first I thought I could just find the exchange rate and determine how much I was spending in USD using that. Of course I almost immediately realized that the exchange rate fluctuates over time. I’ve seen it as low as 27 NTD per 1 USD to as high as 35 NTD per 1 USD, so that method wasn’t going to work. I was going to have to get used to just using NTD. So I converted all my savings into NTD and was prepared to live on my strict budget without worrying about how much it was in USD.
Keeping Track of Expenses: From Pen and Paper to Excel
The next step was finding a way to keep track of my spending, so as to not go over my budget. At first I hand wrote everything down. Of course this worked as a method to keep track of everything, but it was a lot of writing and I had to add up every expenditure manually. This works fine other than it being a little slow and I don’t like math very much, but I was able to write clearly what every expenditure is for.
After doing that for a while I decided that it was too slow for me and I wasted too much time adding things up, so I switched to using a spreadsheet in excel. That also worked as a method to keep track of everything, but it required its own time consuming work. I had to enter everything into the spreadsheet, then the hard part of having the spreadsheet add everything up for me. Entering all of the expenditures into the spreadsheet was just time consuming, but making sure that it was using all of the correct equations to add up what I wanted it to add up properly was another hassle all on its own. The last thing with excel was that it was more difficult to keep track of what money was being spent on what things.
The Gougou Way
Now it’s several years later and I’ve discovered the expenditure tracking app, Gougou. I do have a job now but I’m not making enough that I don’t need to keep track of my spending. With Gougou I can add each expenditure individually as I spend, or at the end of the day. The Gougou app adds up everything for me and makes everything easier to keep track of because Gougou has categories and I can add notes to each expenditure if I want. The Gougou app also has several other features - it keeps track of my total spending for the month, as well as a breakdown of the spending for each week. I can also look at previous months and compare them. The Gougou app also allows me to create my own categories if I want one. The app even has a history tab where I can see each individual expenditure. On the whole, Gougou makes keeping track of my expenditures very easy. All I have to do is make sure to add my expenditure in, and it does everything else for me.