If you're like most people, when you get to the end of the month, you wonder where all the money went. This feeling comes from not having a record of where your money is going.
Several times a day we spend money and assume we'll remember it, but at the end of the month, its just not possible to remember all the little purchases, and they add up to a lot. That's why tracking your spending is so important. It makes you accountable to yourself. When you know you'll need to record purchases, you think twice about making it. It causes your mind to consider, "Do I really need this?" Often that in itself can make a big difference.
You can use:
- a notebook and record as each purchase is made.
- software to track and record things at the end of the day.
- your mobile device to quickly type in what purchases you made while out
Whatever works best for you... but don't leave it longer than a day or you'll forget the little things that make all the difference. At the end of the month, review your list. Is there anything that you could have improved? Any purchases that could have been avoided and that money used to pay down debt? It all begins with tracking the money - track every penny so you'll have an accurate foundation.
If you're not already using CalendarBudget, it is the perfect tool to track and plan your spending. If you are already using CalendarBudget, perhaps its time to go back and make sure you're up to date and review last month's spending.
Next time, we'll discuss how using a debit card for purchases is the way to go.