Saturday, March 2, 2013

Write Down what you Spend, Save, & Share!

It's a form. A basic form. Write down the month, day, what you bought, the amount the purpose you put the money to: Spending, Saving, or Sharing. The last column is for a memo or note. Basic—8 columns.

The challenge is consistency: writing down every expense, every time. Cash, check, card, even the spare change or dollars handed out to panhandlers (check the share column).

That's it. It works. The question is can you work it so it works for you!

Look what some bloggers have posted on this technique if you don't believe me.

From: Prime Parents Club

#DoIn52 Week 3: Become More Aware of What Your Family Spends

For our third week in Do In 52, we want your entire family to become more aware of what you spend in one week by tracking it–all of it! So, grab a notebook and an envelope for each family member who is old enough to spend and get at it. Just have people log what they bought and the amount.
The rules are easy:

Save a receipt or write down in your notebook every single thing you spend money on for seven days straight.

Spend $120 at the grocery store? Write it down. Spend $20.01 at the gas station (come on, we know you go over when trying to stop on the .00 mark), save that receipt. Pay the electric bill? Log it. Buy a pack of gum at the school event concession stand? WRITE IT DOWN. (Yes, we are totally serious.) Order an Amazon book that auto-bills your account? Yep, you have to track that, too. Anything that comes out of your personal funds, you need to track it for the week.

Part of the reason that people have such a hard time with budgeting and saving money is that they don’t realize exactly what they’re spending, especially on little things that can add up fast. At the end of your seventh day, collect all the receipts and notebooks from everyone and add it up. We’re pretty sure that you’ll find some corners you can cut immediately, and then probably some things you can work on longterm.
So … get to tracking!

From: ReadyforZero

One thing that I’ve personally found is that if I force myself to enter my spending daily or at the very least 3-4 times a week, I really feel the pain if I enter something that I know is bad for my budget or if I go red in a category. This helps me make smarter purchasing decisions and avoid over spending. Alternatively, it feels great when I do make my budget for the month or only ‘stray’ within a few dollars. It’s almost like a game that helps me accomplish my goals.

So, get started, keep it quick and manageable. At the beginning don't worry about getting every expense recorded, just focus on building the habit of writing a note or sitting at the computer with receipts and bills.

The more mindful, the more moneyful!