Sometimes we can find it difficult to keep track of the money that we are spending. This means that it can be easy to then go overdrawn without even realise it or be in a situation where we need a loan to keep us going if we do not have enough left until we get paid. By tracking spending, we will more easily be able to know what we have got and what we have not and therefore we can change our spending habits to fit in with this. It can be useful to also have a note of what money goes out of our account and when, to pay standing orders and direct debits and when any other bills come along that we have to pay, so that we can make sure we have enough money for this as well. There are various ways that we can do things which will help us to keep track of this much more easily.
- Set up all payments to come out just after you are paid – it can be wise to sort out your bill payments to leave your account just after you are paid. If you can set up standing orders or direct debits for paying these, then you will be able to know that they will all be paid when you have the most money available in your bank account. This will be helpful as you will not have to think so hard about what money to leave in the account to ensure that everything gets paid as you will know that everything has been paid so the money in the account is available for you to spend. There will be some things that you will not be able to set up like this, so you will still need to monitor for those, but hopefully if you get it set up, it will mean that you will be able to do better at managing your money as it will be a lot easier for you.
- Keep a note of your financial situation – it is wise to keep a record of your spending. Whether you do this by constantly checking your balance using a banking app or you write it down in a notebook or keep a spreadsheet, it doesn’t matter. The important thing is that you will always know how much money you have available to you so you will not spend more than you can afford. Some people like to keep on top of their bank balance by looking online. If you do not like the idea of online banking then you should be able to get a balance at a cash machine. You may even be able to print off a mini statements on some machines at your bank. If you have a branch nearby, you could go in and ask the cashier to help you.
- Consider paying in cash – for some people it can be easier to pay for things in cash so they can keep track of their money by seeing what they have in their purse or wallet. If you draw out the amount of cash that you are able to afford to spend and then you will know what is there and what you can have. This will only work though, if you know that you will not be tempted to use a debit or credit card if you want things that cost more. It could be wise to hide these cards if you think that it might be a temptation. Of course, if you always buy online, then this method will not work for you.
- Set a budget– it is really important to make sure that you are aware of how much you can afford to spend and you do this by setting a budget. Calculate how much money you will have available to spend and then make sure that you stick to this. It might be the same each month or it may vary if you have bigger expenses in some months. You might also want to allow some money to go into a savings account so that you have some to fall back on to should you need it.
It might seem like a big hassle to track your money so precisely like this. However, once you get into the habit of doing it then it can soon become hardly noticeable. You will also soon feel the benefits as you are more easily able to cover the costs of everything that you need and do not need to worry about how you will manage financially each month. It can really help you to have a much better relationship with money if you keep a proper track of your spending and hopefully will mean that it will no longer be a worry for you.