Maintain a Spending Diary
There are many ways to be mindful of your daily spending. Keeping a spending diary, allows you to total up your daily and weekly spending and track important dates for upcoming bills and expenses. Through the advances in technology, there are also apps to help you with the process. If you are already in a bind and are in need of quick cash, a cash advance can also be an option.
How to Get Started
It is best to start your diary at the beginning of the month. By doing this, you are also able to keep track of monthly spending and how much money you are left with at the end of each month for your savings. An example of some diary entries could be:
September 01, 2018
- 10:00 am - $2.50 - took the subway to work
- 11:00 am - $3.75 - grabbed a coffee
- 1:00 pm - $14.00 - lunch at Saxby’s
Daily Total: $20.25
Make a Calendar to Plan Your Spending
When making a calendar, jot down the days that your bills are due and spend accordingly to make sure you have enough to cover them. Doing this helps you make sure your payments are on time by staying organized.
If you are the on-the-go type who has your planner attached to your cell phone, laptop, or tablet, there are some applications that can assist you with your planning. Most of them are free, however, they also have premium options available for purchase. Some are able to link to your bank account as well. They will give you weekly statements on spending to help give you a more in-depth explanation as to where exactly your money is going.
Use Financial Apps
When it comes to tracking your expenses and automating your savings, apps are where it's at! Here are a couple of our favorites:
Clarity Money is available for free on both Android and IOS products. Clarity will show you the amount you have spent throughout the month. It will also show you what you have left to spend for the rest of the month. The spending tracker will break down your spending into categories, and tell you what you're spending your money on most, such as; coffee, gas, food, etc. A special tool in this app is the subscriptions tracker. It will monitor your monthly subscriptions, and even give you the option to cancel them through the app if you would like. Finally, the app lets you know what you are spending on your credit cards. It will even tell you if you are spending too much on your credit cards. This app is perfect for someone who does not have the time to write their own spending diary. It will complete the organization for you!
Digit was created in 2015 to help people save by essentially doing it for them. The app will actually take a few dollars from your checking account and put it into your savings from time to time. You are able to program when your bills are due so that the app will not take money for savings that needs to be spent on the bills. The downside to this app is that it costs 3 dollars per month. However, many of the app users say that it is worth trying, even with the small fee. One of the special features of this app is that you can program it to put money away for your bills, but then tell it when to place the money back into your checking just before the bill is due. This will limit you from spending money that is needed for expenses.
Find Out What Works For You
Each person has a different way of staying organized. Test the waters. Whether it is a daily planner, calendar, or app that will help you save money, find what works for you. Try each for a month, and find where you save the most, and learn the most about your spending habits!
Note: The content provided in this article is only for informational purposes, and you should contact your financial advisor about your specific financial situation.