Why You Should Track Your Spending
Tracking your spending is the single most important thing you can do to organise and begin to recover from financial woes and debt. Are you consistently finding that you are broke despite making enough money to seemingly cover everything? Are you having to forgo things that should have been affordable at your income because of an unexpected lack of funds?
You aren’t alone if you answered yes. Let’s discover how to track your spending.
The internet is littered with examples of people who make a decent wage and living but for some reason can’t quite put their finger on why they spend so much and are not where they want to be. Stories can be found on forums and numerous other financial sites that all have one or two things in common.
Number one; people like to enjoy their life and don’t want to let a little thing like running out of money sooner than later stop their fun. Instant gratification is something all of us desire, but it can spell disaster for your bank account and future. Number two; many people refuse to even look at what they’re actually spending because of the fear of looking at their bank account altogether.
So, how do you track your spending?
Number one on the list is willpower. You have to make the commitment and stick to it, despite any thoughts or desires to spend over your limit and then just deal with the consequences. You are the only person that can change your own habits and cultivate a desire for a better situation.
Next and on the same wavelength is the fact that you have to be honest with yourself. Don’t act surprised at the end of the month when you’ve completed your tracking of every single expense you’ve made and it turns out to be what you already knew it was anyway, deep down.
Why track your spending if are just going to be dishonest with yourself? You went down this road for the truth, so prepare yourself to handle it.
When you do have to spend money on something, make sure to keep the receipt or write down what you spent. When you get home, put those into a box or file. Very simple organisational skills can end up saving you a tonne of cash at the end of the month, and thousands by the end of the year. When you get to the end of a week, take out the box and place the receipts in separate columns according to what they are for; food, gas, supplies, etc. This will help you figure out exactly where your money is going, and what expense is costing you the most consistently.
Since today most people spend a tonne of money online, many purchases are easily traceable from the receipts received on your bank statement or in the thank you email received from the purchase.
Tally all these up and write them down as you make them, putting them in the receipt box with all the others. Mark them down to signify it was an online purchase, so when you add everything up and categorise them, you’ll know what your online total was right then without having to go back and look at all the places you spent something. This is the easiest thing you can do to begin to understand how to track your spending.
In the end it all comes down to you. These ideas are here to make the beginning of your journey to financial freedom easier.
Once you have everything on paper laid out in front of you, there is no way to deny that all those tiny things added up over time and you spent too much. It will no longer be possible to say that you don’t know why you have no money. The next steps involve controlling your desire for things you don’t need and possibly doing without things you are used to.
The advantage to doing all of this is that you can get yourself back on track to actually saving money. Once you fall into the habit of doing this, it will become easier and easier to actually save money without thinking about it.