Memes all over social media these days are mostly relating to being broke right after getting paid, and netizens are sharing them thousands, if not millions, of times across the internet. But the question is, how in the world do we not know where our money went?
Being a student
When I was still a student, I was very keen when it comes to recording and tracking my daily expenses. Being on a student budget means you are financially limited and must live within your means – that is if your parents don’t shower you with money. I had apps installed on my phone that helped me keep track of my expenditures. However, most of the time I blatantly disregarded it altogether which defeated the whole purpose.
Being part of the workforce
Eventually, I got a job that is paying some really nice moolah and I couldn’t help but go crazy. Pretty sure I kind of disappointed the college girl in me as I had become a spending monster. I splurged on things that I was deprived from and was previously not affordable to me, so to speak. I shopped in malls and online on a weekly, and carelessly maxed my credit card. It came to a point that I realised I was doing this money thing the wrong way the whole time.
Now, as I welcome my second year of being part of the workforce, I make it a point to watch what I spend. (People tell me to watch what I eat but we all know that’s never gonna happen!) I drill in my head every time I get paid that money doesn’t grow on trees. Bit cliché but it’s as real as dalandan juice.
In this blog, I’m going to share with you my tips and tricks to keeping track of your money that have been effective for me. These tips will help you change your spending habits and more effectively save money.
Keep an expense or money tracker.
Expense trackers are easily available for download. Just search keywords “expense tracker” or “money tracker” on your Android or iOS device and it will show you the available trackers. Any tracker will do the job, just choose the one with an interface that best fits your preference.
While expense tracking apps work for some people, there are people like me who are good at it in the beginning and slowly stop using it. I don’t what the reason would be, but for people like me, I suggest you get a grid notebook.
It can be whatever notebook that you prefer, but personally I think grid notebook works best. The lines are very helpful when you’re dividing sections.
Simple System vs. Detailed System
There are loads of systems that I’ve tried in keeping track of my money. There’s this simple date + description + amount, and I add them all to get the total. There’s also this detailed date + description + debit + credit + balance system that was really effective for me.
The simple system is just a basic list of all your expenses. The detailed system is practically similar to your bank account statements because you will see how your money flows.
How to use the detailed system: Basically, all incoming money goes to the debit column, and outgoing money goes to the credit one. Then you do the math for the remaining balance. This system worked really well for me in my college years. I was able to make my weekly allowance last a week with some more to spend just by listing down every single peso I spent.
I highly recommend the detailed system because unlike the simple system, you can easily see how the money comes in and goes out. You can also be able to see at a glance how much money you have left without adding up a whole bunch of values to total it out.
When you start tracking your expenses with either an app or pen and paper, you have to be consistent and must try to always update it. Update your tracker as soon as you can so you don’t forget anything. When you’re out for the day, make sure to log every cent you spend either as soon as you spend it or when you come home. Being aware where your money goes is a discipline every person has to have.
Keep doing it until it becomes a habit. Once it does, it will be impossible for you to not know where your money went!
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