Whether it is your personal expenses or official work, financial expense tracker and monitoring apps are in dozens out there. You can make excel or spreadsheets with them for your office work, or turn the insights into actions. For example, investments, buying property or assets, higher studies, and so on. You can indulge in any of these or just enjoy your life when you monitor your earning and spending. Because that can help you cut down unnecessary costs and save money for the future.
There are several steps to start tracking your spending and income, either with apps or manually. Below are some of the basic steps, regardless of however you would want to proceed.
- Because tracking your income and expenses depends on your expected expense, first start with a budget. The budget acts as the reference or guide against which you tally your actual spending.
- Next, record each of your expenses, every single penny daily. Because recording these will help you match your expected budget with actual expenses later.
- Watching those amounts will also help you contemplate at the end of a week or month about your budget allocation. For example, you may need to modify it a bit based on your habits.
- Because of the above step, you can now understand if there were unnecessary expenses in the past week? And, then decide to make some changes next time.
- There is a range of systems that you can use for tracking income and expenses. For example, budgeting apps, envelope systems, and even spreadsheets. Insights are useful because they help derive conclusions.
- To better define the expenses, categorize them as high or low priority. Begin with small groups, and join them into larger ones.
- In the end, use all the above information to figure out your spending habits because that is crucial. If you wish to save money, then such conclusions will be directly useful.
To keep it short, the above steps or tips are the basic beginnings of budgeting. And tracking one’s income and expense is not possible without proper recording, grouping, budget creation, and allocation. If you want to make room for adjustments, you must start with a budget first. Then move down the above steps in the order of their listing.
Account Statements Are Not All
Checking your monthly account statements is very useful, especially in the digital age. Because all payments are via digital wallets, cards, etc., you have almost all records of every expense. This is a good starting point to apply the above steps. To be able to pinpoint your money habits, and calculate your savings at the end of the month. But, some payments may not reflect in the account summary, for example, cash payments. So, besides account statements look at all other modes of payment as well.
Using Expense Trackers
Explore your various trackers depending on your preference. There are apps for smartphones; budgeting apps that can help create your budget. You can also manually do these tasks, but using a digital app simplifies the process. You can carry it around with you all the time, work on it anywhere. These trackers can notify you of excess spending, upcoming crucial payments, and stuff. Thus, these trackers keep you vigilant of your expenses.
Planning Monthly Expenses & Savings
It is very important that you keep some of your income towards savings. For this, plan your monthly expense accordingly, and set your tracker to remind you of unnecessary expenses that you can avoid. Many times you just get carried away, and trackers can alert you before such an event. Create a plan ahead, set the budget, make modifications, and feed it to the tracker. So, if there is any unexpected payment, you can rethink the decision. Savings are very important and tracking money habits is at the root of it. Only then you can think of charitable behavior.
Money habits can be changed for good, but without keeping a record, one can’t realize it. So, use trackers to record your earnings, budget allocation, and expenses. And analyze them on a weekly or monthly basis. Follow the above steps in the right order to save money at the end of the month, which you can invest in the emergency funds.