Last week, we discussed how to start a savings account. This week, to make saving even easier, I'm going to talk about tracking your spending.
Tracking your spending is vital to any budget because it can help you see where your money is going so you can adjust it along the way and stop spending money on things you don't need or shouldn't be purchasing to create a little more wiggle room in your monthly spending. Here are some tools and ways to track your spending as well as seal up any of those money leaks.
Tips for tracking your spending:
Whether you use software, an app, or paper and pencil, it is a good idea to track every penny that you spend. This will help you see where your money is going, help you identify waste, and find occasional expenses, so they can be added to your budget.
If you are accustomed to getting cash from the ATM and a few days later can't remember where it went, I suggest putting it in an envelope and writing your cash expenses on the outside of the envelope. This will help you see how fast those little expenses add up as well as keep money from “disappearing” from your budget.
Get Rich Slowly offers practical advice on how to track your spending and why you should.
Cult of Money has good advice for those of us that are new to tracking our spending with these 5 tips to successfully tracking your spending.
Tools for tracking your spending:
Quicken is an easy-to-use budgeting software that allows you to track all of your spending. You have the option of downloading financial records from many banking institutions to Quicken.
Everydollar.com helps you visualize every cent that you have come in for income or going out as an expense.
Dollar Bird allows you to set reminders for bills and track where your money is going by category so you can see over time where you are spending and make adjustments.
LearnVest is free but has a paid option of $19 per month if you want to add the help of a financial planner. It helps you track daily spending, too, so you can see patterns.
Mint is good for those that want a way to easily pay bills while tracking spending habits and staying on a budget all in one app.
Penny is a good app if you are helped best by simple text message reminders. Penny will send you texts to let you know your spending habits have changed and simple suggestions.
Ways to cut your monthly expenses and seal up any money leaks:
Here are 7 places you can cut $10 from your spending that may be leading to poor budgeting.
Pay attention to these 6 Money Draining habits you need to break.
It's important to note that you should track your spending over several months to get a clear picture of where you could be spending less and where your money is really going since our spending habits tend to change with seasons or times of year as well.
Are you looking for ways to save money, here are 52 small changes that will help you save more money this year. Don’t forget to Join the Facebook group to keep yourself accountable and discover more ideas for saving money.