Expense Tracking for Rentals

4 Replies

Hi all,

I had a pretty general question, I'm wondering what people use to track their expenses for rental properties. I only have one property now that I'm fixing up so there is always and expense. For now I'm just using excel but I'm wondering if people have good websites or apps/programs that they use. I'd like to get a good system going as I grow. Ideally something free since there isn't much of a reason to pay when I only have the one property, although I'd be curious to hear those either way.


Thanks @Cathie Kovacs ,

Is that good for tracking improvements as well? Ex. I'm living in one unit while redoing it so trying to track everything from appliance purchases, paint, new floors, to gas for mowing the lawn. Just trying to have everything in one place. I'm not super familiar with Quickbooks.

@Christopher Howard

@Cathie Kovacs makes a good point that Quickbooks Self Employed is a very cheap option. However, once you expand and start needing a more robust accounting system, you can't upgrade to a higher version.

If you ever start using Quickbooks online, I'd recommend starting at least with "simple start"... that way you can upgrade later if you need.

At this point, you should be just fine with a spreadsheet. I'd do the following things:

1) Open up a new bank account (either for your LLC if you have one, or just another personal account) and run all your income and expenses through this. This way you will have everything in one place and can stay fairly organized.

2) Track your income and expenses on a spreadsheet and break them up into the important categories (rent, repairs, improvements, materials, utilities, etc.).

3) Once a month/quarter, make sure the transactions in your bank account match what you've recorded in your spreadsheet. This is called a "reconciliation".

4) Either keep or take pictures of all your receipts and write a little sentence on any that may require clarification in the future.

5) Keep a log of your miles. If you end up driving a lot, you might look into the MileIQ app... if not, a log of miles driven and purpose of trip will be fine.

That should get you started!