Track Your Spending

Tracking your expenses is probably the most important step to take for good financial planning. Maybe you're thinking: “I'm not very good at knowing how much I’m spending. Is there an easy way to track my expenses?”

Maybe you're just not the spreadsheet type. But you know what?  You can use an app, an online program your own spreadsheet or the Current and Future Expenses worksheet to track expenses payments you've made. Or, paper and pen still works.

Whatever method, the longer you leave off updating your records, the more overwhelmed you'll be. Picture yourself surrounded by a real or virtual stack of bills and assorted ATM receipts. If you can update your records on a weekly or at least monthly basis, you'll be able to manage the job. It may help to break your expenses into different categories, as outlined in the table below.

Not your style? No intention of tracking? Try working backwards. Review two or three months of past expenses to see where your money is going. Your objective is to find the "stupid money", the money you're spending on things you don't care about.

  • Find the stupid money.
  • Stop that foolishness!
  • Redirect stupid money" to where it matters.
  • Congratulate yourself; you’re getting smarter about money matters.