Less Tracking, More Spending

spreadsheetJ.D.’s post at Get Rich Slowly on How Good Habits Keep Small Mistakes Manageable got me thinking about how the less I track my spending, the more I find myself wasting money and exceeding my monthly budget.

I personally use a self-created excel sheet to track my spending and help me stay within my monthly budget. Unfortunately, I irregularly sit down to make the necessary updates. It just kind of happens when I have a couple minutes and I’m near my computer. Sometimes it’s every day, and other times a few weeks go by without me opening the document, pulling out my receipts and punching in the numbers.

There are times when sticking to a budget is challenging and doesn’t always work out as planned. When I do go over budget I try to make up for the over-spending in subsequent months as much as possible.

But then there are the months that I go three weeks without looking at how much money I have spent, only to find that I’ve already maxed out my personal allowance because of sheer laziness. This is almost always the case. As a rule, I have found that the less often I track my expenses, the more likely I am to go over my budget, and vice versa.

It makes sense that this would be the case. The more I look at my spending habits, the more I aware of how I spend my money and how much wiggle room I have left. Monitoring my expenses gives me the ability to judge how frugal I need to be and when I can indulge.

When I fail to track my expenses, I have no concept of how much I’ve spent and how much of my allowance I have left. Looking back, it’s clear that these are the months I find myself eating out more and buying little things I really don’t need. As a result, the consistent little expenses add up to big expenses at the end of the month.

Maybe I should go back and read my Mvelopes Review, and allow software to plug in the numbers and monitor my spending for me.

Millionaire Money Habit: Rather than irregularly checking in on your budget, set a specific day and time each week to track your expenses, or find a program that will do it for you automatically. As a result you will be able to monitor your spending habits and be more aware of your current financial situation, which can protect yourself from exceeding budget. –RT

One Response to Less Tracking, More Spending

  1. Justin says:

    You should try Yodlee (free) and just use the envelope system for your allowance

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