Hi Loves! So I mentioned Dave Ramsey before but I really do like his style and find him inspiring when it comes to money. This is sort of a mashup of his idea and one I’ve gotten from another financial guy I like Adam Carroll.
Adam suggests tracking your money on a notepad you carry everywhere. Dave suggests making a budget and tracking your spending there. This is my take on the two. And it seems to be working for me!
Today’s post is a quick tip of sorts. I’ve spent the past 2 months tracking every time I spend money. I try to hardly use credit cards and use my debit card 90% of the time. I’m working on getting away from relying on my cards…yes it is plural.
Much like the theory of keeping a food journal when you’re on a diet, try keeping a spending journal or piece of paper and see where your money is going. If you have to write it down, you’ll stay aware of how much you have and how much you’re spending.
So without sharing a lot of personal information, I take a piece of notebook paper for the month. I break it into sections – or boxes. I write down the spending category and a number I’d like to stay around.
For example a few of my boxes are:
Income – great to know how much is coming in
Groceries ($80) – I blew that last month!!
Gas ($40) – I spent $43 in August
Eating out ($20)
Random Expenses ($50)
Entertainment ($20) — netflix, kindle books, concert tickets, etc..
Savings – I have a box set up where I pull cash from my checking account into various savings goals. At the moment I have 3 savings accounts/goals set up.
In hindsight – this has been very good for me. I may have to adjust my grocery category – I’ll re-assess that on October 1. I do alright on the other categories. Plus with this being no spendtember I will hopefully be spending even less.
I’m playing around with the format and its nothing fancy. I use a $.15 notebook I picked up during back to school and each month gets a page. It works for now and as time goes by, I’ll modify it or adjust it accordingly.
So do you track your spending? I use both Mint & Everydollar but I’m finding I like the plain old paper & pen method best. Something about actually writing the amount resonates with me better.
As far as my first days of no Spendtember go – I’m doing great. So far I’ve only spent money on gas and groceries!! YAY me! I’ll fill you in next week on my first full week of it.