Show Me the Money! 3 Helpful Tips for Tracking Your Spending

Stop guessing where your money is going and start understanding where you are spending! Tracking spending is simple, but we know it isn’t always easy to keep up with. We have some tips to make it easier.

Not sure you’re ready for this? Take a minute to think about your goal. Remember that your daily money habits are the bridge between where you are now and where you want to be. Feeling a bit more ready? Let’s do this.

First things first, keep it light and easy. There are a variety of methods and tools to track your spending, including some that we’ve listed below to help you get started. Decide on the method you want to use and just go for it. Try it for a week. Once you are finished, you will have all the info you need to take the next step to reach your goal. It is best to track for the full seven days to get a good idea of your patterns and habits, but if you miss a day just start over the next day.

Here are my top tips for tracking your spending.

Use a Spending Tracker

Track income and expenses using this easy app for iOS or Android. There’s no need to set up any budgets in advance. Just install the app and start tracking.

Spend it/Write it

Use a good-old fashioned pen and paper to write down what you spend. Try to track daily, missed days usually = missing dollars. Checkbook registers are a cheap and easy way to keep your spending details in one place.

Use a Paper Tracker

Print the tracker and carry it with you during the week. If you don’t write down what you spend right away, be sure to hold on to your receipts so you can put in the details later. Keep receipts and total them up at the end of each week. Click here to download a spending tracker from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

This is all about progress, not perfection. The main thing here is to observe, but don’t judge (that really doesn’t help anyway, and just makes you feel bad).


Recommended Articles

How to Maximize Your Savings During Tax Time

Taxes can seem daunting. But there are a lot of free resources out there to help you file your taxes for free, get reliable help with your taxes, take advantage of tax credits that you qualify for, and even win prizes this tax season! Here are four resources you should be aware of for tax-time.… Read more

6 Steps for When Your Credit Is Denied

  First, let’s start with the facts. There’s a widespread fallacy that a score determines whether or not you get credit. The truth is that lenders use a variety of factors to make credit decisions. These factors include your FICO scores, but also take into account your income, your employment history, and your credit history.… Read more

What is private mortgage insurance?

If you get a conventional loan and make a down payment of less than 20 percent of the home price, you are required to purchase private mortgage insurance (PMI). PMI protects the lender (not you) in case you fail to make your mortgage payments. Banks, savings associations, credit unions, and mortgage companies make conventional loans… Read more