Keeping Track of Your Expenses
When you don’t know how much money you have, how much you need or where it’s going, it can throw your finances into a tailspin. Keeping your information in order can help you improve the health of your finances and give you, your family or your business more financial security and less unnecessary debt.
Good record keeping will also help you when it comes time to file your tax return, and will significantly decrease the stress associated with tax season. To get control over your finances, check out some of the following tips.
To keep your finances more organised, you need to designate one part of your home or office as a space where you keep all of your financial records. This will help to minimise any time wasting associated with searching for documents, and will help keep you organised when the bills begin piling up. Bills, receipts, insurance documents, bank statements and cancelled cheques are all examples of items that will need a specific home within your filing system.
Beware of the EFTPOS Transactions
One of the most common and problematic money habits for individuals especially is overusing ATMs to withdraw small amounts. Over time, these small amounts add up to the point where you couldn’t really say where all your money has gone. The best way to avoid this is to either diligently record every EFTPOS transaction, or make small budgets with cash and label them “bills”, “groceries”, “petrol”, and so forth.
Online banking is really useful for individual and small business bookkeeping. Not only is this a good way to check on all those little EFTPOS purchases, but is also useful for paying bills on time and keeping track of exactly how much money you have.
Additionally, there are plenty of free online finance programs that allow you to put all of your information in one place, making it easier for you to manage it. Some sites will chart your spending and saving habits to give you the best visual on where you stand financially.
Smart Credit Card Use
Credit cards can make or break your finances depending on how you use them. The great thing about them is that they automatically track your expenses, so you can see exactly what you bought, how much you spent, and which stores you went to. The down side to credit cards is that people often use them to buy things that can’t actually afford, which ends up costing them big time. So what’s the best way to use credit cards? Understand their usefulness as a tool to track your spending, but always ensure that you are able to pay down the bill every month.
Carry a Notebook
While it may not be the most high-tech method, writing down expenditures the moment they happen is an excellent way for people who are forgetful to keep track on their spending. Get a notebook that is small enough to fit in your wallet or purse, and immediately record every transaction as they happen. At the end of the day, add the numbers to your overall records.
With so many easy ways to keep track of your finances, it can be hard to choose which one is best for you. Try out a few methods until you find one that you can stick to. The effort you put into keeping track of your expenses will really pay off in the long run.