05 October 2012

Tactics to Accurately Track Your Spending


The first step to saving money is to know how much money you have to work with. Now, that doesn’t just mean how much money you make each month.  You also need to know how much you spend and what you spend it on.

Ask any expert (or me!) how to create a realistic and effective budget and they’ll tell you to first track your spending.

This is a big job, right? I mean you probably spend money every day. How do you track it all?

Here are a few tips and trick to accurately track your spending:

1. Keep all your receipts. Keeping your receipts is easy. Keeping them organized and recording the information isn’t as easy. Keep all of your receipts and file them at the end of each day or the end of each week. A simple expanding file folder will help you keep them organized.

At the end of the month calculate how much you spent on various categories. For example, how much did you spend on eating out? How much did you spend on groceries? How much did you spend on health care or pets?

2. Online bill pay. One of the challenges to tracking all your information is that you have cheques, ATM withdrawals, debit card charges, credit card charges and cash to track. Simplify it by eliminating some of your payment methods. Online bill pay is a great way to eliminate the need for cheques or standing in queues at the Post Office. It also helps you pay all of your bills on time (and helps with the budgeting too). Then much of your spending will be accounted for on your bank statement.

3. Embrace technology. This one could be a challenge for some people. There are many tools you can use to organize your expenses. For example, there are scanning and software devices. You can use an application for your mobile device. You can also use a personal accounting software program to help you track everything.

The key to tracking your expenses ultimately lies in your ability to follow through and create a system that works for you. Once you know how much you spend and what you spend it on you can begin to make adjustments. You can begin to save more money and achieve your financial goals and dreams.

3 comments:

  1. Can you suggest some electronic or mobile apps that have worked for you or other members?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I use Quicken personal accounting software.

      Delete
  2. I use ezbudget on my iPhone and love it! It's free and is a virtual envelope system, been using it for about five months and still raving about it. I find it so much easier on my phone which is generally always with me than trying to carry around another book :)

    ReplyDelete

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