Step 1 of 12 to Financial Wellness Track your Spending
Tracking your spending is the first step toward greater financial awareness and financial health. But mastering this skill is easier said than done. How can you track every dollar you spend, making multiple daily purchases?
We’ve outlined how to track your spending in 3 easy steps.
Choose your tools
Tracing every dollar’s journey isn’t easy, but you can make it quick and simple with the right tools. Choose from one of the following money-tracking techniques:
- Budgeting app. If your life happens on your phone, download our mobile app, and use My Finance, which will help you monitor and track your spending. This tool is especially helpful because you can skip the step of entering each payment manually and it will keep track for you.
- Spreadsheet. A spreadsheet might be a good choice if you like to see everything spelled out clearly. You’ll need to record every transaction, but if you prepare the sheet with all the spending categories you think you’ll need, it shouldn’t take long.
- The envelope system. If you’re a big cash spender, consider withdrawing the cash you think you’ll spend in a month and keeping it in an envelope for each category. When you need to purchase, use money from the envelope.
- Receipts. Hold onto every receipt from the purchases you make this month to help you track your spending.
- Pencil and paper. Recording each purchase the old-fashioned way can help you make more mindful money choices throughout the day.
Review your checking account and credit card statements carefully
Along with one of the tools listed above, you can track your plastic purchases by reviewing your monthly checking account and credit card statements. You can access these online by logging into your account and downloading.
Review and categorize your purchases
At the end of the month, use your chosen tool to review all the purchases you’ve made. When completing this step, don’t forget to include any automated payments you rarely think about, such as subscription fees and insurance premiums.
Use the tips outlined here to master tracking your spending successfully.