Chances are you will have a rough monthly budget knowing how much money comes in from your salary and how much goes out when it comes to bills and your rent or mortgage with a basic idea of how much is left over but do you know where that disposable income goes every month? Do you find you end up with no money or sinking deeper and deeper into debt each month even though your budget suggests otherwise? This is a regular occurrence across the country and is often simply due to not keeping track of all of the little spends you have throughout the month such as a coffee on the way to work, a magazine, that new dress you bought, birthday presents for friends and so on and these little bits and pieces soon add up and can take a significant portion of your income.
To be able to combat this issue and end up with a little more than £0 left when you are running up to payday then you need to keep track of your spending habits and when you know just what percentage of your money is going where you can address the overspends, know exactly what to cut down on and in turn reduce your debt and increase your savings.
Now, with the availability of apps, constant connection to the internet and internet banking it is very easy to track your spending.
If you prefer to do everything yourself you can simply use a spreadsheet in Excel. Every time you make a purchase no matter how minor it is write it down or save the receipt and enter it into the spreadsheet on a daily basis. Separate your spending into categories then at the end of the month you can easily create charts and see what has went where. You may be surprised when you realise your takeaways, coffees and shop bought sandwiches for lunch account for potentially £200 of your monthly spending.
Of course, “there is an app for that” if you have a smartphone there are lots to choose from and it is simply about finding on that best suits your lifestyle and tracking/reporting requirements, TrackSpend is one such app which comes with many recommendations. TrackSpend gives you the opportunity to keep track of all your incomings and outgoings on the go so there is no excuse such as a lost receipt or simply forgetting. Inputting and calculating expenses as you go will soon make you realise just how quickly the small amounts quickly add up! The app lets you create your own categories so when you input an expense you add it to a relevant category and it tells you how much has been spent in that category for the week and month. You can then assess your spends using a selection of graphs and pie charts at a glance.