Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Day 29: Organize Your Genealogy Expenses

Nearly all hobbies come with some sort of cost. Genealogy is no exception. While you can engage in genealogical research at a minimal cost, using an existing home computer, free software, free online databases, and how-to books checked out from your public library, you are more likely to want to spend a bit more in order to make more progress and get greater enjoyment.

Here are just some of the genealogical things that you may choose to spend money for: a newer computer with extra memory and with an extra large-screen display; a printer/scanner; office supplies; computer furniture; a good-quality office chair; filing storage furniture; computer software; database subscriptions; document requests; educational subscriptions; books; magazine subscriptions; local, state, and national society memberships; registration, travel, and hotel expenses for conferences and research trips; and professional research services. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it covers the most common genealogical expenses.

None of us has unlimited financial resources, and we are usually juggling all kinds of other demands on our income. This means that you will want to set up an overall budget for you and your household, and then decide what portion of that can be applied to your hobby of genealogy. Two of the most popular budgeting services are Mint and You Need a Budget (YNAB). These can be linked directly to your financial accounts and allow you to identify where your money is going.

By using budget apps, you can decide in advance how much you want to be spending on genealogy, and then you can stay within your allotted amounts without the worry that you may be overspending. This will free you up to know when you can afford that book or software that you want.


  1. Now, THAT'S what I need to do! Thank you, Drew!

  2. I track what I've spent in an Excel spreadsheet but haven't got organized enough to plan for spending. Something to think about!