This weekend, my husband and I took a close look at our finances with the software program Microsoft Money. If you’ve never used it before, I’d strongly suggest you look into that or a similar program.
We’re able to track and categorize our expenses and project how much money we’ll have in the future, if we save X amount of dollars, or have certain expenses, etc.
We were able to see how much we spent per month on groceries, how much our electric bill was, how much unaccounted-for-money we were spending, and a variety of other things. I’m still learning how to use the software, but already I can see the benefits of tracking your purchases.
In addition, I have tangible goals for reducing our expenditures. We have certain fixed expenses, such as rent and the phone bill, but there’s a lot of wiggle room to reduce grocery and gas costs, for example.
Last month, I spent nearly $200 on gasoline. That’s a lot! Although, I did drive from Pennsylvania to Indiana and back–twice. There’s 1,600 miles in driving right there. But if we didn’t categorize the costs, I wouldn’t know I spent that much.
The point I’m trying to make is: Know where your money is going. Whether you use a software program, a spreadsheet, or your own system of tracking, it’s crucial to have a handle on your finances.
What systems do you use?