Do you find that your money seems to just disappear, no matter what you do? Are you checking your bank balance every now and again, and find that the money just disappears? Do you find that you have to keep scanning your transactions, often in disbelief, to check where everything has gone? There are plenty of examples, but if you find that are regularly looking for ‘missing’ money, then this can be the post for you to help you to control your finances.
People have kept records and accounts for years, and that is how things were all kept in order. In the modern world that we are in, it can be quite easy to forget about keeping records, because it can feel so remote and distance. Bank statements can be paperless or just done through an app. But because they are things that you have to go to access, rather than coming through your door in paper form, it can feel really remote and be something that you put off if you’re not too sure about your finances.
So if you need to stay on top of your finances better, then being able to keep a literal book where you could write down your transactions and track your spending in that way. It is simple, straightforward, and shouldn’t feel overwhelming. Sometimes, even in the digital age that we live in, keeping things simple with paper and pen can make all of the difference, and you might find yourself less distracted, allowing you to focus more when you don’t have the rest of the internet right there only a click away.
If you’re still not convinced, then here are a few of the main things to think about and consider, when it comes to keeping records of your finances in the first place.
- Being able to track your spending is one of the first things that comes to mind. Plus, it can help you to discover new opportunities to save money when you know what you have leftover to put into savings
- On a similar note, staying on top of your finances will help you to monitor your savings and the goals that you have with that in mind
- If you are looking to clear debts, then knowing how much you can pay over the minimum is important, and you’ll only know if you’re able to do that when you know what is in your bank account
- Like savings and debts, you can also monitor your investments when you stay on top of your finances. If you have savings accounts or ISAs, as well as a current account, then there is a lot to keep track of. So having records of it all, and what is where, is an important step to take.
- For tax purposes, having a record of what you are spending is such a good idea, especially if you are self-employed and need to prove what the things are that are tax deductible
If just one of these reasons is important to you, then being able to find a system to take care of your finances is going to be help you to take control of your money. There may be some things here that don’t apply to you, then no need to plan for them, at least for now. Simply because, you never know when you might need to do different things and track your finances differently. You could get a cash windfall from inheritance, for example, or from looking to recover the compensation you deserve if you’ve had an accident, for instance. And at times like that, then you may need to do more for savings or paying off more to clear debts. So always bear these things in mind, no matter what your current situation.
With so much of what we do in life, work life and home life, it is based online. And because of that, it is easy to put off any written records or record keeping. You can have bank statements and things online, so having a physical copy can feel like a bit of a waste. But really, that copy in your hands can make a difference to you as you can take action with it, rather than having an out-of-sight-out-of-mind mentality. Some banks may charge a fee for this kind of thing, but if you’re able to schedule it in to do it yourself, then it can make a big difference.
Logistics aside, though, this method of tracking your spending is something that is straightforward and pretty low-maintenance. You could forget to input things into a budgeting app, for example, but when your statement is right there in front of you, then you know you won’t miss anything or forget about a small purchase that you lost the receipt for. So that is something to bear in mind when it comes to budgeting and deciding what the best way for you to do it all is.
It sounds like getting back to basics but having a budget is so important. There are apps and things that can help, but even just using a spreadsheet or a notebook can be a good way to start out with your budget. Going over your finances is a good idea, such as going back by a few months. Track what your incoming money is each month, as well as your spending. Think about your necessary spending, though, such as bills, groceries, and commuting costs, rather than leisure costs, at least to start with. Then basically, if you are able to be spending less than you earn, then you will always be in profit and be able to keep on track on your spending. Plus, when you know exactly what is coming in and out, then it can make a massive difference to being able to clear debts, save, and move forward with your money.
Tracking your spending and keeping on top of your budgeting is so important to be able to help you to get on track and being able to be on your way to a secure financial future.