Tracking spending is essential – if you don’t know where your money is going, you can’t make intelligent choices about managing it. 

Our next topic for our “New Year, New You” 30-Day Challenge is ‘Tracking Your Spending.’ 

I’m really excited about this one. 

Tracking your spending sounds easy enough, but I’m going to do my best to make it even easier! 

By the end of this challenge, your eyes will be opened to where your money is really going. 

Track it consistently. It doesn’t matter how you track your spending – something is better than nothing. You can use a spreadsheet or even a lined notebook. The key is to track everything – including cash purchases.  

Consider a ‘bills’ account. Once you start tracking your spending over time, it’s worth looking into opening a bank account just for your bills. 

This account would have all your regular bills coming out of it; utilities, mortgage, cell phone, property taxes, gym membership, etc.

You can then have a separate bank account for your variable expenses, like food and entertainment. This ensures you don’t go overboard on your ‘fun’ spending. Lastly, a separate account makes tracking your fixed payments easier since you don’t have to sort through convenience store or gas station purchases.

Sweat the small stuff. Speaking of convenience stores, be sure to reflect on your purchases. The $25 you spent on bread, milk, and eggs could have cost $12 if you’d only driven two blocks down to the grocery store. The small transactions can add up fast.

Use finance tools. There are many options available to help you track your spending, including popular websites Mint and YNAB (You Need A Budget). These are great ways to use technology for good!

And – that brings me to your challenge for the day! Your mission is to take a look at either Mint or YNAB, and see if it’s for you. If not – no worries. Your backup challenge is to start tracking your spending in a way that feels good for you – start with the last 30 days.

Don’t miss my next email – I’ve saved the best for last when it comes to tracking your spending. 

In the meantime, the best time to review your financial plan is now – no need to wait to track your spending. Give my office a call today at 513-563-PLAN (7526) or click here to book a no obligation and on-the-house 15 minute consultation. 

I’ll review your plans and spending habits and show you how you can easily save money for retirement! How exciting is that?