How To Track Day To Day Spending

How To Track Day To Day Spending

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Today I’m welcoming Jon from The Money Shed back to the blog! As always, he’s here to share his wisdom on all things thrifting and financial.

In this post, Jon’s going to be talking about how to track day to day spending, and why it’s actually a really important thing to keep on top of. I know I’m guilty of letting those pennies run away with me. Which is why I’m really looking forward to finding out ways to streamline my spending.

How To Track Day To Day Spending

Keeping tabs on your finances can be a difficult challenge. Particularly in the age of cash, credit and debit cards, contactless and phone payments. There are so many different ways to spend money that it can be hard to keep on top of where your money is going.

If you’re trying to save or just trying to budget better then you should be keeping tabs on all of your spending. This is no mean feat, so you’ll need all the help you can get. So here’s a list of all the different ways you can track your spending, including tools to help you.

Spreadsheets

If you know your way around Excel then you may want to consider a spreadsheet. This is good because you can input certain calculations and then these will work themselves out month by month.

For example, you can put a calculation of your income minus your bills which will leave you with a total of what you have left over each month. This means that you know how much disposable income that you have each month – without having to manually work it out all the time.

This can save you time in working it out, but we only recommend this if you’re comfortable working on a spreadsheet.

Notebooks

A really simple and easy way to track your everyday spending is to get a notebook. You can pick one up incredibly cheaply, so you don’t even need to spend a lot. Then all you need to do is to make a note of every purchase you make or everything you spend money on. Then at the end of every month, you can tot up all your purchases.

If you’re planning on doing this, a good tip is to colour code different things. That way you can see if there’s anything that you’re spending a lot on. For example, if you colour the purchases on food green and at the end of the month your notebook is filled with green then you can see that you might need to spend less on eating out.

The only downside to this though is remembering to do it. Many people find it’s easy once they get into the habit, but if they forget then it’s easy to let it slide. A good way to remedy this is to carry the notebook on you at all times and get into the habit of writing down every purchase after it’s made.

Budget Planners

Similar to notebooks, these are specially designed for people to track their spending. There are special pages and slots designed for you to write down your monthly outgoings. There is also room for writing in fixed monthly expenditure such as rent or bills and then there are places to write down other outgoings that aren’t expected. This could be things like food shopping or if you buy some new clothes – whatever.

However, this also means that you need to get into the habit of remembering to write these things down. It’s easy to forget and so you can miss a few things out.

Apps

If you’re worried about forgetting to write things down then you may want to consider an app. There are plenty out there and they often come with reminders to help you track your spending. Some of the more sophisticated apps will connect to your bank or PayPal address and they will automatically log what you’ve spent and where.

This means the only thing you will have to keep track of is any cash that you withdraw and where you use it. It’s a lot easier than having to remember to write things down several times a day, but some people prefer this.

You should choose whatever is right for you, as there are pros and cons for each.


Which method is right for you?

Jon’s certainly given me a lot to think about, as my current method of how to track my day to day spending is absolutely nonexistent! 

Do you use any of the strategies above? Or have you got another way of keeping on top of your daily spending? Either way, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below, or over on Twitter.

Writer, tweeter and illustrator. Starving artist and thrifting expert. Pen for hire and first-time author at work.

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