Tracking $$$

by James & Miel on September 13, 2006 · 0 comments

You might find it to be a bit on the anal retentive side, but I track my spending. I started doing this nearly three years ago, when I had more credit card debt than I care to recall. I started as a kind of experiment to see where I spent my money, and now it feels just like a way of taking care of business. Here are some of the things I’ve learned through the process:

  • Tracking saves money. There’s no doubt about it, paying attention to what you are spending, and knowing that you’ll be reminded of it later, helps tremendously. Like anyone who has tracked what they eat, it’s hard not to eat less just by the process of writing it down.
  • Tracking shows you where your money is going. You might have a budget, but unless you track your spending, you are unlikely to know how well you are sticking to that budget.
  • Tracking makes budgeting easy. I now simply look at my past spending patterns to determine how best to alter my budget.
  • Sticking to it helps. In the bliss and chaos of our wedding, I lost my usb drive, and therefore stopped tracking for the next month or so. This was unfortunate, but also reminded me what a helpful tool this has been for me.

It might not be your cup of tea, but I’d suggest trying it on for size to see if this might help you. If you’d like an excel template for how I track my spending, just leave a comment and I’ll email you a spreadsheet.

Keep saving!

Miel

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