As we think about closing out this year and beginning a new year, we all think about new year’s resolutions. So many of us have resolved to have more money in the new year, and over the next few weeks I’ll be sharing ideas that will actually help us do just that- have more money. Today, we will be focusing on how to track expenses.
How to Track Expenses
Have you ever wanted to know where all your money is going? Somehow the amount that you know you are making is very different than the amount of money that you actually have. How does that happen? Well, let’s find out.
The fact of the matter is that if you don’t know what you’re spending, you can’t control it. I’ll bet that you’ll be shocked when you figure out how much money is slipping through your fingers every day.
A major part of having more money is cutting expenses but before you can cut expenses, you need to know what they are. So this week we are going to focus on how to track expenses.
How can I track expenses?
It’s actually much easier than it sounds. You simply need to record every single time you pull out your credit card, spend cash or write a check.
You can write it down, put it in your phone, or use one of the many great online systems out there.
My Keep your Money Printable Library includes a free printable for tracking expenses. This is what I’ve been using lately, because I prefer a hard-copy in paper form.
I keep this sheet in my purse, along with a pen, and every time I pay for anything I write it down. My purse comes with me wherever I am so that’s an easy place for me to keep it.
As a backup measure, I also track my spending using Mint.com. Mint has a website and an App that can link to all of your accounts and automatically track your finances for you.
Mint is a great option. If you prefer to have your spending tracked for you online, this is the option for you. You just need to make sure that you manually record all purchases that you make with cash.
Ready, Set, Go!
Whichever method you choose, start tracking your expenses. Make sure to track every single penny that you spend. This isn’t going to work unless you track everything!
Be sure to check back next week to find out how to categorize your spending and cut those expenses. We are going to make our resolution a reality and we will have more money next year.