Article: Know Where Your Money Goes: Track Your Spending!
If cash seems to disappear from your wallet, now’s the time to find out where it’s going! Becoming keenly aware of cash flow will help you reduce budgetary waste – and leave more money in your pocket for truly important goals and expenses. There are several good methods you can use to track spending:
- Carry a small notebook and record the details of each purchase you make. At the end of the day, total what you’ve spent. You’ll soon have a good idea of where those $40 ATM withdrawals really go.
- Keep receipts from each of your purchases and tally them up daily. It won’t be absolutely precise if you shop at places that don’t give a receipt (such as a soda machine), but it will be close enough to be revealing.
- Use a debit card for all or most of your shopping. Every purchase and cash withdrawal will be noted on your statement. Review it regularly.
- Use expense-tracking software. After monitoring your spending for at least a few weeks, enter the information into a long-term expense tracking system. A few months of doing so and you’ll have an accurate picture of where your cash is going.
Only after you know today’s spending habits can you make realistic financial decisions to better your future. Need more help tracking? As a benefit of membership in South Carolina Federal Credit Union, you have access to personal financial counseling at no charge through BALANCE. A counselor can review your budget in detail, and provide suggestions on how you can make the most of every incoming dollar. Call BALANCE at 888-456-2227, or visit www.balancepro.net.
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