Keeping Track of Your Money

July 21, 2009

When it comes to keeping family finances in order, one of the most common hurdles that we face is overspending. Sometimes someone is obviously blowing money on unnecessary things, but often it’s much more subtle. Everyone spends a few dollars here and a few dollars there, and when the month is over, a lot of dollars are gone.

In order to get a handle on your budget, it’s absolutely essential to carefully track expenses. This includes bills, variable necessities such as groceries and transportation expenses, and discretionary spending. Here are some of the many reasons why we must do so:

  • Keeping track of the money put toward bills will eliminate confusion. If you’re juggling bills, it’s important to know at a glance which ones you’ve paid and which ones you haven’t. Keeping receipts well organized will give you this information when you need it.
  • Saving your grocery receipts can save you money. By comparing grocery expenses from week to week, you can easily see where you might have spent more than necessary. You can make a mental note of this so that you won’t make the same mistake again.
  • Keeping receipts gives you the opportunity to take advantage of rebates. How many times have you learned about a rebate shortly after tossing a receipt for an eligible item? Holding on to your receipts in such cases could have made you money!
  • You might need to return a purchase. Some stores will not accept returns without a receipt. Others will, but they may only allow exchanges. And if the item has gone on sale since you bought it, you’ll only get credit for the current price if you don’t have a valid receipt.
  • If you buy something that comes with warranty, you’ll probably need the receipt to get repairs or an exchange. Read the fine print to find out whether you need to send the receipt in or keep it until service is needed.
  • Keeping records of your debt payments can help hold you accountable. If you’ve set a goal of paying off your debt by a certain date and calculated how much you’ll need to pay each month to meet that goal, keeping track of how much you actually pay is crucial. There may be months when you can’t pay as much as you’d like, but if you have it in writing or keep the receipt, it will serve as a reminder to make it up as soon as possible.
  • Keeping records of your spending may not be the most fun and exciting task, but it isn’t difficult. Simply coming up with a system to organize your receipts will do the trick. And when you need to know how much you spent on something, or need the receipt itself, it can save you lots of time and trouble.

    Tags: , , ,

    • Twitter
    • Facebook
    • Digg
    • Delicious
    • Reddit
    • Stumble
    • Design Float
    • LinkedIn
    • MySpace
    Subscribe   Share/Bookmark

    • Walter

      This is a very informative article

    • I’m trying to start a small business myself so these tips will definitely come in handy, thanks. I have the concept, just need the financial aspects and banking perspective for the business. Any advice?