Budget Smart Girl's Guide

Track Your Spending

 

Welcome to week one of the summer money makeover

Have you decided what you’re going to tackle between now and September 1st?

One of my major goals is to track my spending.

It used to be much easier when I wrote checks to pay bills and buy groceries because I’d write down what I spent and who I paid, along with how much was in my account.

Those days are long gone and with them my organized system of seeing where the money was going.

Recently I’ve been reading lots of financial books (reviews of them coming soon), and one piece of money advice they all have in common is, you need to know what you’re buying so you can look for patterns in your spending habits.

Of course, certain payments are necessary but what about the odd $20 here and there?

It doesn’t sound like a lot but spend an extra $20 five times every month, and well, you get the picture.

I’m planning to look at not only how much I’m spending but what I’m spending it on. Is it a need versus a want item? Could it be an ongoing charge for something I no longer need (see my previous post about that topic). Could it even be for something that I can negotiate at a lower cost or switch to a competitor?

By the time September rolls around, I hope to have a clearer picture of my spending habits and if there’s anything I’m overspending on or if I’ve been prone to impulse buys…yes, we all have those even the budget minded.

I think I might use simple pen and paper to keep track but if you want to go the more sophisticated route I know there are lots of sites and apps for tracking spending. Some of them are free while others have a monthly fee.

I’ve found a couple of articles that cover some of the more popular sites and here are the links-

 

https://www.npr.org/2011/05/18/136394339/sites-that-help-track-your-spending-and-saving

 

http://www.wisebread.com/10-sites-and-apps-to-help-you-track-your-spending-and-stick-to-your-budget

 

Anyone else have suggestions about keeping track of your spending? What method do you use? Anyone else have the same goal for this summer make-over?

Have a money saving week.

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