My Grandmother has been keeping a ledger of all her expenditures since she started to spend. Dating from 1947, these books are both fascinating and beautiful artifacts; a history of her life as illustrated through the mundane (you'll notice she likes to splurge on candies, fresh fruits and other sweets). She learned the habit from her father who saw her through both the great depression and Japanese internment camps during WWII, giving him reason to watch every penny. My Grandmother says that she doesn't know why she continues to make these documents and that perhaps her time could be spent better through other pursuits. However, a creature of habit, she likes to know where she spends her money and how much she spends. The final photo in the following series is taken from her most recent ledger book.
Interestingly my father, since I can remember, has kept his own log marking down car millage and gas prices for each stop he's ever made at the pump and with every car he's owned. This number recording gene somehow skipped my sister and I, but my husband has taken up the interest with our new car. I now find myself jotting down the date, millage and price spent on gas when we stop to fill up. A funny exercise, but perhaps if we all took a page out of my Grandmother's book we may be better poised to live comfortably, like her, well into retirement (she just celebrated her 92nd birthday).