Do you know how much money you have spent today or this week? It is important to know where you are spending your money to take control of your finances. Each month starts with a promise to track every cent spent but for some reason as the days pass it becomes harder to keep up with expense tracking. Remember, to know where you are spending your hard-earned money you must track it.
To build an effective budget you must have a clear understanding of your expenses. Without tracking your expenses, you are building your budget on information that is most likely not accurate.
Here are some simple ways to track spending:
1.Write it Down
You may already have a system that works, we all have our own ways of tracking spending. You can write your spending on a notepad or enter in a spreadsheet. Whichever method you choose the key is to be consistent in making a note of your spending. Have a look at my simple expense tracker to write down your expenses.
- Saving Receipts
Keep a receipt of every purchase you make. With the convenience of smartphones, it is extremely easy to save receipts. If you are not willingly to save paper receipts just take a picture of your receipt with your smartphone. This way you don’t have to carry around paper receipts and still have the detailed receipt saved.
I try to use my credit card for as many purchases as possible. I don’t like carrying cash and with the convenience of credit cards, there doesn’t seem like there is a need for cash. The benefit of paying with a credit card is your purchase details are saved online and you can access it anytime.
- Make it a routine
Make expense tracking a habit. Set aside a time at the end of the day to take note of all your expenses making sure they have been recorded. Record your expenses while they are fresh in your mind, as the time passes it will become harder to remember.
Make it just as much of a routine as brushing your teeth before going to bed. As you incorporate it your daily routine it will become easier to track your spending.