[ctt template=”4″ link=”u5MLz” via=”yes” ]Monitoring your money is the simplest and most effective ways of getting out of debt, saving money, or simply living a more frugal lifestyle. It’s also a lot easier than you think. Here are several free and easy ways to monitor your money:[/ctt]
Monitoring your money is the simplest and most effective ways of getting out of debt, saving money, or simply living a more frugal lifestyle. It’s also a lot easier than you think.
Here are several free and easy ways to monitor your money:
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Write It All Down
The most basic way of monitoring your incomings and outgoings is always going to be with good old pen and paper. Simply keep a small notebook on your person and use it to write down everything you spend. After a month or so, you’ll have a much better idea where your money goes, and you’ll be able to create spending categories and a proper budget.
If you have Microsoft Excel on any of your devices, then that is a great way to monitor your spending and make a monthly budget. If you don’t, Google Sheets is an excellent free alternative which works in much the same way. There are also numerous templates which are compatible with both and which will get you off to a flying start.
Credit Card Account
Okay, so you might be thinking that you want to stop spending on your credit cards, not do more of it. However, if you’re looking to track your expenditure, using one of the many low interest rate credit cards available to you is a great way to do it. Why? Because you can simply log in to your account and see all of your transactions right there on the screen. Of course, you should only use this method if you know that you WON’T be tempted to spend more and you WILL pay off the balance in full at the end of the month, every month, but it’s a simple, free way to keep track.
There are lots of money management apps that are free and effective, but Personal Capital is probably the easiest one to use. It can be connected to your bank account for real-time tracking too, which is always a bonus when you’re looking to reign in your spending.
Exact Finance is another excellent money-management tool, which also allows you to link your accounts for real-time spending updates. It also enables you to view regular reports of your expenditures an enter information manually. Best of all, however, it offers projections of your future spending and saving habits, so you can really get to grips with the financial side of life. It will enable you to take so much more control over your money than you’ve ever had before.
If you’re never without your cell phone, Wally is the money monitoring tool for you. Available only for mobile devices, the app allows you to do a wide range of things from comparing your income and expenditure to taking pictures of your receipts for future reference. It’s all you need in one tiny package.
The Bottom Line: It’s practically impossible to get to grips with your financial situation and improve it if you don’t really know where you are right now. Taking the first step, by using one of these free methods to manage your money is that first step, so take it now!
This is a contributed post.
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