I’m the worst with money. I can’t keep it. I get money I spend it and then a week later I wonder where all of my money has gone. Being broke all of the time isn’t fun but I’m trying to put in the effort to at a least keep track of my money and see where it goes. Because I’m pretty those four Snickers bars I ate were not really necessary.
For ages now, my dad has been keeping all of his receipts and then at the end of the month he gives them to me and I total them and input them into a spread sheet. This spread sheet has things like his income and expected expenses and then I fill out what was actually spent and he can see if he was over or under budget and where he needs to cut back spending.
Since October I’ve been trying to do the same thing. Not to the same extent as car payments and insurance aren’t things I need to worry about, but the habit of keeping all receipts has been very helpful. I’m all of a sudden more conscious of where I spend my money.
Every time I buy something, be it a one dollar cookie from Tim Hortons or a 100 dollar textbook, I keep the receipt. If I forget to get one, I write how much I spent on another receipt or on a piece of paper and put it in my wallet. If the wallet is bursting with receipts, then I move them to an envelope for safe keeping. The hardest part is online purchases. It can be difficult to remember to write those down because there was no physical receipt.
At the end of the month, I separate each bill as best I can by category (groceries, phone bill, dining out, candy, toiletries, school supplies, etc) and look at the crazy amount of money spent. I’ve definitely been getting better at spending less and spending wiser. But it can be difficult and as an extreme measure, I’ve recently taken to writing down how much money I’ve spent in total each day in my planner.
Hopefully in the long run these habits will pay off and I can keep track of every dime spent! (I would say penny, but you know, they’re not really a thing anymore…)