Spending Choices

Tracking your spending

Track your expenses

People want control over their own personal financial situation

Tracking your spending plays an important part of the decision making process involved.


Is this a new idea for you? Well, learning new ways to think about and control money, is an important change to your money behaviour.  


Knowing and understanding where your hard earned dollars go, quite simply helps you to save more and spend less. 


Let’s look at a few tips to get you on your way. 


And remember, you are taking action towards making better money decisions. 


learning how to budget

Why tracking your spending is important

It can seem like a very frustrating chore at first.


But it’s a great question to consider. WHY should I track how much I spend anyway?


Well basically, you need to get a clear picture in your head as to where your money goes weekly, fortnightly, monthly and beyond.


Without that picture you just can’t make the best money decisions. And you certainly can’t make a solid budget without this information either.


Makes good sense doesn’t it. 

Best way to track spending?

Do I need to track my expenses every day? 

YES is the answer here.


Because it’s possibly the first time you have done this, start out by noting what you spend each day. 


Aim to collect this information for at least a week, possibly two.  This will build up a routine and allow you to get used to the task. In fact, don’t label this a task, because it’s going to be a successful project instead.


Recording your daily spending for a week or more, will also give you an almost instant idea of where that money is heading out of your account! 

If you are like the majority of other people, you will have those recurring fortnightly or monthly expenses. You might want to extend the period of time that you track your spending and take records to capture these recurring spends.


Once you get comfortable with the process, plan to run a whole month of tracking for that bigger picture you are looking for here.

budgeting apps

Keeping track of your expenses

What records do I need to keep?

Don’t forget this is all about knowing what you spend each day, each fortnight, each month. Allowing yourself the chance to do something positive about your spending patterns.


So the answer here is simple – to track your spending, record everything you spend your money on. If you use your phone or credit card to buy items, most bank accounts or banking apps already have software included that will assist in grouping your spending categories.

You can always go old school, and carry a notepad if that is easier – just jot down what the item was and how much it cost you. Or the other option is to make sure you get a receipt for every purchase and then total those up at the end of the day.


At least the receipt generally has a description of the item to help you out.


And just like using a spreadsheet, make sure to record the items in separate  categories  (e.g. fuel, groceries, entertainment) This gives you a clearer picture of where the bulk of your money goes. 


Stay positive when starting out and be patient too. Don’t expect there to be a massive change in your spending habits from the beginning. 

You may surprise yourself and actually start to see a small change but it can take a little time to get used to this recording process, before changing any spending behaviours.


This can be a bit like taking exercise classes or going for a run – partner up with a friend for motivation and get that money energy working!


It’s especially important for couples to do this tracking together. It shows support and commitment to each other and you both will get to celebrate a combined success!

Couple budgeting together

Is there an app to track my spending

Locate and use technology

You may already be asking yourself is there a technology solution to this process, and surely there must be a phone app to track my expenses? Congratulations if you have been thinking about this, because here’s the good news!


Check out this latest article on the best expense tracker apps 2023 – this information will make things a lot easier. Phone apps are definitely a great way to go with finding an easier way for tracking your spending. And it’s a convenient habit to use in real time time, when you actually spend the money. 


There are a large variety of apps available, and some even have the option to set spending limits and bill payment reminders.


All designed to help you easily find and see what your expenses are.


At Spending Choices we are committed to providing easy to understand tips that just make sense.

So now that you have an idea what’s required, it’s time to let the rubber hit the road! 


There are no risks for you at all by tracking your spending. In fact if there were any, it would be the risk of NOT saving more by spending less! And wouldn’t that be a missed opportunity.


The best chance of success is to start straight away. Yes it makes sense to be sure you understand what’s required, but over thinking the process can result in NOTHING BE DONE .


The more you think over these things, you are at risk of analysis paralysis, especially when it comes to personal finances. And that is something that is not uncommon, especially when it comes to change or personal money decisions. 


Here are some helpful tips on how to avoid analysis paralysis. 



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