Keeping track of your finances is an important part of living within your means. After all, there is a substantial cost to spending more than you can afford and living recklessly through credit. However, tracking what you spend is vitally important to understanding where your money is going and why you may have overspent. It’s always a good idea to track where you spend your money, how you spend your money and what stores you’re most likely to purchase from. Therefore, to help you make sure you’re always on top of things, here are six simple tricks to keeping track of your finances when frequenting multiple stores and outlets.
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1. Designate an Envelope in Your Car and at Home for Expenses
It’s easy to spend money and it’s just as easy to discard the receipts. Unfortunately, you never really pay enough attention to how much you’ve actually spent until you get your monthly statement. By that time, it’s often too late. A possible solution includes having an envelope in your car and at home where you can quickly accumulate all of your receipts. At the end of a given day or week, you then go through the receipts one by one and ask yourself if you spent your money to fulfill a need or a want.
2. Set a Weekly Reminder on Your Smartphone to Review Expenses
The first step accomplishes nothing if you’ve suddenly forgot to review those expenses. As such, make sure you give yourself a weekly reminder to review what you’ve purchased. You can set up a reminder on your smartphone or on your computer. Either way, make sure you have a reminder to review your spending habits.
3. Schedule Payments in Advance
Eventually you’ll have to pay for what you’ve spent. If you’ve used department store credit cards, then you’ll have to keep track of what you owe and when you owe it. Make sure you clearly outline when payments must be made. You can do this on a calendar and then set reminders on your mobile phone to make those payments on time.
4. Set Spending Limits
If you find you’re starting to spend too much at too many stores, then stop and reassess the situation. Overspending happens from time-to-time. However, it can quickly add up and become a problem if it continues unabated. If you find this happening, then it’s a good idea to start each with a goal to cut back on spending.
5. Spend Only What You Have
Granted, this is much easier said than done. However, for some people, there is value to setting a daily limit for spending and then tracking how much they spend in a given day. In this case, you’re setting and tracking a daily limit on spending. You can register your expenditures on a smartphone so that you’re always aware of how much you’ve spent and how much more remains.
6. Use Checks
If you have a hard time tracking your spending, start using checks. Using cash is hard to track, and credit cards may cause you to spend more than you can afford. Checks are a great way to easily track your spending so you can budget better. Checks Superstore has a variety of checks to choose from. Using checks is an effective way to remember where your money is going and track your finances better.
Treating yourself to something special is more than understandable. However, spending more than you have, or more than you can afford, can become problematic. These six aforementioned tips should help you keep better track of how and when you spend your money