If you are trying to get started budgeting, managing your current budget or trying to prevent going over budget, you need to be tracking your spending often! A budget is just a written idea on paper (or in an app) until you put it into action.
Tracking your spending is what brings it all to life! If you have a budget but aren’t keeping track of anything, you probably won’t be staying within your budget. It’s like creating a weight loss plan, hanging it on your fridge, but not changing anything else. You just walk by and smile at your weight loss plan everyday….it’s a nice thought as you reach into the fridge for that pizza.
See how silly that is?
Tracking your spending is like the secret sauce to budgeting success.
8 Benefits of Tracking Your Spending Often:
1. Tracking your spending will help you stay on track.
Most people start budgeting with a goal in mind. There is some reason you have decided to take control of your money and essentially micromanage every single dollar.
Tracking your spending is going to help you stay on track to reach your goals. You will be following along with all of your spending making sure every dollar is going where you intended it to. Each transaction will be bringing you closer to your goals.
2. Tracking your spending will help you make adjustments as needed.
When you keep track of your spending daily or weekly, you will know if you have gone over budget somewhere. This is the beauty of watching your transactions as they come through. You can keep a very close eye on your budget and make adjustments if you need to.
If you are on top of things and realize you went over on your cosmetics category for the month, you can then look at your other categories and try to cover the difference somewhere else. If you are watching your spending, you can take care of this when it happens instead of doing damage control at the end of the month when you have no money left.
3. Tracking your spending will confirm you are awesome!
This is probably the best benefit. When you watch all of your spendings, you are able to stay within budget. Every time you keep things within (or even under) budget, you are giving yourself positive reinforcement.
When you have weak moments, you can take a look at your expense tracker and get instant encouragement from how great you are doing. Every time you say no to a purchase and continue to live within the budget, you will hear this inner cheering like you are a front-runner at Nathan’s Hot Dog contest with 30 seconds to go!
Every win is a push in the right direction.
4. Tracking your spending will create a new normal.
When you start tracking your spending often and habitually, you will become a new you. This constant awareness of your spending is going to completely change who you are.
With your new focus, everything you do will be a reflection of where your energies are directed. This means you will be more aware of the purchases you make, the choices you make (eating out with friends or not) and how you view money. This is a good thing!
It’s no different than trying to learn a new language. Tracking your spending often is the Rosetta Stone to successful budgeting.
5. Tracking your spending decreases stress.
If you are keeping track of your spending and monitoring where you stand with your budget, there will be no guessing about where you are! This is so amazing! You will know exactly how much money you have in each category at all times.
This takes the guesswork out of budgeting. The excuse of, “I thought I had more money left in that category,” will exist no more. You will know exactly where you are. This will completely lower your stress level. Instead of hiding from where you think your budget might be, you will be aware of all spending.
Relax, you are totally in charge!
6. Tracking your spending alerts you to odd charges.
Close monitoring of your spending will quickly and easily identify any purchases that weren’t made by you. This is such a no-brainer benefit. When you pay attention, you will catch abnormalities and be able to correct them super fast.
No one is going to monitor or manage your money better than you.
7. Tracking your spending will uncover habits.
Did you go over budget on your groceries for the third month in a row? How does this keep happening?! Once you start paying attention to your spending you will definitely start to pick up on some habits you may not have realized you had.
Do you consistently order pizza at the end of every week? Do you forget about your water bill every quarter? Do you go a bit crazy when it comes to buying gifts for family and friends? These are all common habits you may have that seem normal until you realize they are busting your budget.
Tracking your spending will identify the habits so you can break them and take complete control of your spending!
8. Tracking your spending will bring the paper to life.
All of your budget preparation won’t mean anything without you tracking your spending as you go. Every day or week that you are checking in with your budget will bring you one step closer to staying within budget, achieving your goals and taking over the world (well maybe not that last one)! But, you get what I’m saying.
A budget is just a nice idea until you put it into practice, check your spending and hold yourself accountable. Don’t let your budget be that unused weight loss plan hanging on your fridge. Track your spending and start reaching your goals!
There are so many benefits to tracking your spending that will all work together to keep you on track with your budget and set you up for success. You will be a changed person, your stress level will decrease and you will get confirmation that you are awesome! Start tracking your expenses and reap the rewards.
How to track your expenses?
If you are just starting out, I STRONGLY recommend handwriting everything. It may seem completely tedious and time-consuming, but it will get you in the habit of focusing on your spending. It is not different than all the reasons I recommend having a hand-written budget. You need to set aside the time and train your brain to pay attention to your money. Every line item you write will register as a purchase. This will make you pay more attention to what you are spending your money on.
If you want to just do it on a basic sheet of paper, this is what mine looks like.
For this type of sheet, you just write every transaction, what category it is in and keep a running total of where you are at for each category throughout the month. Do this daily or weekly to stay on top of your spending.
If you want to have it on a pretty sheet I designed specifically for this, just sign up below to get instant access to my Expense Tracking Sheet.
GET OUR BEST CHECKLISTS, GUIDES & RESOURCES FOR FREE!
Get instant access to our free library of awesome tools when you sign up for our email list!
Enter my free resource library for my latest checklists, guides, and resources! Password is 'donuts' -- please copy and paste that in at the link above. Thanks for being a subscriber!!
NO SPAM, ONLY GREAT INFO & YOU CAN UNSUBSCRIBE ANY TIME
Do you have any awesome reasons you love tracking your expenses?
Could you use an extra $7,000/year?
Of course you could! It’s crazy the amount of money people can actually save.
Download this money spending assessment and I’ll show you how to:
+ Find your biggest opportunities for saving TONS of money within your current budget!
+ Start implementing very simple & proven tips to save you thousands. (NO joke)
+ Set super easy and achievable budgeting goals to take control of your finances & increase the digits at the end of the month in your bank account.
NO SPAM, ONLY GREAT INFO & YOU CAN UNSUBSCRIBE ANY TIME
PIN THIS FOR LATER!