|Jan 4th||Wal-Mart (Basic Necessities)||$17.19||$ 5.00||$ 12.19|
|Jan 5th||H & M - jacket||$77.00||$ 77.00|
|Jan 4th||Superstore - Grocery||$58.00||$ 58.00|
|Jan 6th||Bus Pass||$86.00||$ 86.00|
|Jan 6th||Wal-Mart (Grocery)||$22.97|
|Jan 6th||Dollarama||$7.42||$ 7.42|
|Jan 7th||Car Gas||$44.00||$ 44.00|
|Jan 23rd||Shopping||$82.00||$ 82.00|
|Jan 26th||N. Birthday Gift||$44.00||$ 44.00|
|TOTAL||$438.58||$193.00||$ 178.61||$ 44.00|
Happy Wednesday everyone! It means Tippy Tuesday (a day late -sorry!) and Today I am sharing with you a tool I developed in Excel a while ago to keep track of my spending (a.k.a. Financial Tip).
If you have made it reading this far, great job! Because I know many people who hear budget and they run as far and as fast as possible.
At first I started just a simple tracking sheet - where and on what have I spent my money but over the years I have been wanting to tracking where does most of my money go. So I decided to track some %'s how much is need, want, gift for others. Like in the above chart, I know that through all my spending, I have spent 44% on need, 41% on want (ususally called shopping), and 10% on gift for others. I can see month to month where I tend to spent most and where I could possibly cut back.
Above is a real snapshot of how much money I had spent in Jan 2011 as a sample. If you know how to work with excel, it is really easy to make and go ahead with tracking your spending.
Caution: It was a little inconvenient at first trying to track everything on where I spent my money. Some days I did not want to do it. But then I felt like I had no control of my finances. Then doing this exercise might make you feel guilty on how much we consume. Thats why I put the sheet into percentages so we only target one category at one time. Sometimes, instead of keeping tabs everyday, I sit on the weekend and take out all my receipts and started tallying. or if you are a keener like me, what I do is input what I purchased as soon as I get home after my trips. It has led me to make more mindful decisions about when and where I spent my money.
Let me give you how this tool has benefited me:
During my first year of school, I used to buy breakfast everyday (thats 7$ everyday - over a month that is $210 and over a year it is about $ 2500). Crazy right? and I didnt even realize or even feel guilty when purchasing breakfast because in my mind I had justified it as a need so it was ok to spend that money. Well guess what I started getting up half an hour early everyday to have breakfast and save $2500. I still do go out sometimes to grab breakfast still but as a treat, not necessity.
We all want to acheive many goals in our life and many of us have dreams such as saving for a down payment for my future house, family vacations, wedding, funds for a rainy day, saving money for some major projects in life - I have made many tools like this one, if you are interested, leave me a note below and I would love to share more tools like getting the most out of our income, acheiving financial goals with a financial plan.
As a side note, I am a fanatic when it comes to financial planning. I love to read, write about the tools I have learned over the years. But I am no expert! I am only sharing what I know, what I have learned and decided to pass it on my readers!
If you are interested e-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org and I can send you the template by e-mail. I hope you enjoyed this Tippy Tuesday episode. Please leave me comments below to give me feedback. I love to read comments, feedbcak and questions. Thank you for stopping by and have a great day! =)
Stay Tuned for a very special Financial Planning book review I will be doing soon!!!
How do you track your spending?