I recently wanted to keep track of my income and expenses, in a cost-sensitive way. I am not very good at treating money as a real object, and very few people are good at valuing an expense appropriately. I'd been having some financial difficulties as a result, so I wanted to be able to reason about what to cut or reallocate in a sensible way. For me, sensible means using intuition instead of hard rules like a computer program.
I took several sheets of grid paper and taped put them together. Using colored markers, I drew in my expenses. If I spent $50 at the grocery store, I would make a blue box that surrounded 50 squares on the grid paper, and label it "Groceries". I color-coded the expenses, but this is optional. I left some white squares representing my savings. I had a whole empty sheet where I could pencil in incoming money as I worked an hourly job to motivate myself (I work from home and need to self-motivate). I realized certain things were a bigger deal than I thought, and other expenses I didn't need to fret about as much as I had been. I think humans are intuitively better at visualizing than dealing with numbers. My main tips for this project are to use a felt-tip marker so the lines really stand out, and to do it by hand instead of computer, so nothing moves around on a "redraw" and you learn the contents as you make it. Also, I used a scale of $1=1 square, but if you have a lot more/less money than me you could use a different scale or omit savings.
I plan to start life-logging and reviewing the use of my time the same way, which is my other exchangable, limited resource, and which I manage even less well.