Spending blindly could hold you back from financial freedom. From saving to paying off debt and starting an emergency fund, keeping track of your money and budgeting will help you to reach your goals.
Become more financially savvy by using our money-tracking tips.
1. Understand what tracking means
Tracking your spending means reviewing your monthly purchases to see where your money is going. For example, check your receipts, bank statements and store-account history regularly. This will help you to identify negative spending habits and make changes if necessary.
2. Create the ideal budget
Once you have a better idea of your spending habits, draw up a budget to suit your needs. List all your expenses, starting with debit orders and subscriptions. Next, add essentials like groceries, and include some treat money too! Don’t be too strict or you’ll find yourself going over budget regularly.
3. Put technology to work
Using a money-tracking app is an easy way to keep track of your money – after all, you have your smartphone handy all the time! All you need to do is log your spending on the go. Some great free options are:
- Mint–allows you to connect all your financial accounts in one space and insert your financial goals
- PocketGuard–helps to organise all your monthly expenses and cash flow
- 22seven (local) –budgeting and investment app that helps track all your spending
4. Create a spending journal
If you prefer good old pen and paper, use a notebook as your finance journal instead. Set aside 10 minutes at the end of the day every day to write down all the money you’ve spent (planned and unplanned). Instead of a plain sheet of paper, you could create a spreadsheet using Microsoft Excel and print it out. The point is to track what you’re actually spending and not what you’re supposed to be spending. After a few weeks, you’ll be able to see patterns.
5. Create your action plan
Once you’ve gone through all the steps, you’ll have a better understanding of your spending habits. Continue to keep a record of your finances, how your habits are improving and what you still need to work on. Reaching milestones such as saving more will give you the motivation to keep going!
Find more tips for tips here.
The information in this article is for information purposes only and does not constitute professional advice.