Tracking your spending


Where is your money going?

Now that you have created a budget, you want to compare your actual spending to that budget and see how you did. There are all sorts of ways to do this and all sorts of tools that make it easier. 

You DO NOT have to do this all the time or every day.  I suggest doing this at the end of the month the first few months, then maybe every few months.  You may also do it whenever you run our of money and would like to know why.


  1. Look at your checking account
  2. Identify categories that match your budget
  3. Add up expenses and compare to your budget. (this picture is just an image from another tool. Use pencil and paper if it works.)
  4. Learn and adjust. Don't be hard on yourself, and move forward.

Things like Rent, car payment, cellphone, automatic savings, aren't going to change much. You want to look at the problem categories.  Fun Money, shopping, clothes, recreation, groceries, dinning out, restaurants.

No one stays on track all the time. No One. There are always some unexpected expenses or mistakes that occur.  Identify them and learn from them. You teach yourself where to be more proactive and you will learn which expenses change the most often.

Great job! You now have a budget (that changes) and you are sticking to it. This is huge! In a future post, I will dive into online banking tools.