Despite my conscious efforts to save money and spend less than I usually do, sometimes I still feel like I don’t know where my money is going; like there are some expenses that are not accounted for. This can be frustrating, especially when I’m trying to stick to a strict budget plan. The solution to this is simple but difficult: Track your money down!
TIP: If your expenses don’t add up, look back and review them. Did you forget the dollar and few cents you paid for coffee or the change you dropped into a donation jar? It might seem silly (almost impossible?), tracking the little expenses down, but these little expenses can add up into a more significant amount that you fail to account for.
TIP: Don’t always have the time to write everything down? Try to keep your receipts until you have the time to sit down and sift through them. I keep an accordion file where I keep receipts (and coupons arranged by expiration months!).
Any method you use is fine, really. There isn’t one way that works for everyone. It all boils down to your preference. The key is finding what works for you, because that will help you stick to it.
Do this for two months or so, and see the trend in your finances. On a later step, we’ll learn how to make adjustments to our expenses and create a budget that fit our lifestyle.
Keep an eye out for the next steps. How’s your budget doing? I’d really love to know how everyone is keeping track and staying on top of their finances!