How to Track Your Money
Tools for Tracking Your Money
Like spending plans, there are a variety of money tracking tools. The key is to find what works for you, is simple to use, and helps you stay on top of your finances.
- Electronic / online tools
There are a number options for online banking, budgeting apps, and personal finance software. Check with your bank for a list of reputable tools that you can trust.
- Pen and paper / offline tools
If you prefer to work offline, you can keep track of your expenses with a check register or a notebook you carry with you. Write down what you spend (including ATM withdrawals), when you spent it, and what you paid for.
- Divide it up / offline tools
Place an amount of cash in envelopes equal to what you plan to spend in each category (clothes, gas, food) and label each envelope with the category name. Be sure to keep these envelopes in a safe place. Take the cash you need from each envelope throughout the month. When an envelope is empty, you’re finished spending in that category.
Regardless of the tool or tools you use, it’s important to stick to your budget. That may mean doing without some non-essential things for a while, but it also means your finances will be in good working order.