I just started using MyFitnessPal App to count my calories, track my fitness and overall nutrition. As I was entering my lunch details the other day, I thought, “What IF we tracked our spending the way we track our calories?”
Have you ever tracked your spending?
I will never forget when I first started working at the credit union, I went to lunch with a group of ladies almost every day. One evening my husband said, “Do you know how much you are spending at lunch and what it is costing a month?” When he told me that I was spending on average $62 a week on lunch, I about fell over.
Using a debit card makes it super simple to pay for everything; however, if you don’t track it, you can get into trouble real quick! Here are some tips for tracking your debit card spending.
- Look at your online balance every day! That way your “out of site” will no longer be “out of mind.” Most banks and credit unions offer an online banking option so you can view your account as often as you want (we call ours CU Online). If you don’t like using the computer, most banks and credit unions offer a banking by phone option where you can call and get your balance and find out which transactions have cleared (we call ours CU by Phone).
- If available, use your institution’s mobile app to access your account and find out what you have available to spend before making that big purchase (we call ours Kelly Mobile).
- Write it down! Why is it that the theme of every diet is to “write it down”? Because if you write it down, you can really see just how much you are eating (or how much is coming out of your pocket, in the case of finances).
You might be thinking, “How do I write it down”? There are several ways, it all depends on your personal preferences.
- If you prefer paper and pencil, use a check book register – they are perfect! You can write the date, amount, and merchant.
- If you don’t like that idea because you use your check book register for checks, use a pocket spiral. You can write down date, amount, and merchant.
- If you prefer to use your online banking system, download the information into excel and sort.
- Of if you want to buy software, Quicken has software you can use to download your spending and will give you reports and help with budgeting.
- If you want a software, but do not want to spend the money, there are different applications available. The most common right now is mint.com. You can download your transaction and mint can help you track and budget.
I hope these tools will help you! Spending too much money and not having enough at the end of the month – hurts! Stay informed, track your spending, and don’t run out of money before you run out of month!
For more information give us a call at Kelly Community, we are here to help you save more, earn more, and do more financially.