3 Ways to Start Tracking Your Money ASAP

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Photo by Adeolu Eletu on Unsplash

Why should I track my money?

You should know where your money is going. Period. If you don’t have a handle on where, how, what you’re spending money on, you are putting yourself at risk for hardship. Maybe you didn’t realize that you’re spending 40% of your monthly income on eating out. Or, you’re still paying for that gym membership that you never set foot in.

How should I track my money?

The method that you choose to track your finances is totally up to you. I don’t think there is one way that is better than the other-you know what is going to help you the most.

  • Income : how much money is coming in
  • Daily transaction s: groceries, eating out, shopping

#1 — Old-fashioned pen and paper

Back in 2006 when I read Smart Women Finish Rich, there was an exercise in the book where we were to write down what we spent money on and how much for 7 days. I grabbed a small notebook and wrote everything down for a week. Afterwards I grouped transactions into categories that made sense for me: eating out, gas, shopping, etc.

#2 — A spreadsheet

I keep a spreadsheet with all of my fixed expenses and income. This is a great way to get a big picture look at money in and money out. I don’t reference it often, but I like to go in a couple times a year and adjust values as needed. It’s helpful for planning and determining how much money I can tuck away in savings and retirement.

#3 — Apps

There are many apps out there that can help you successfully track your spending, especially if you use a credit or debit card for the majority of your purchases. I put EVERYTHING on my Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card. The points and customer support are phenomenal. Anyway…that’s another post.

Are you already tracking your money?

What’s your experience? Any recommendations?

Written by

Developer, writer, athlete, & master of some. My blog: jamiepittman.com — Subscribe! Connect w/ me on IG: jamie_lyn_pittman & LinkedIn: https://bit.ly/34DbEtf

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