How to keep track of money

Planning makes perfect!

I love numbers, my boyfriend loves beer.

I like saving, my boyfriend likes spending.

When I knew we were off on our first long-term adventure together I knew there needed to be a clear tracking method for our finances.

I knew in order to save enough I was going to keep track of EVERYTHING and cut out what I didn’t really need.

It is all in the details, I’ll give you an example:

If in one month I had 20 shifts at work, that means driving 40 times. The distance from my house to my work was 10 miles, so I would drive 400 miles. I knew my car drove roughly 200 miles with a full tank of petrol, meaning I would have to fill my car twice if I only used my car for work. A full tank of petrol, for me, in 2016 was £60. This meant, I knew driving to and from work for one month would cost me £120.

Cutting down expenses:

Most of us have a mobile phone contract, right? I recommend having a sim only contract, they are much cheaper, you get exactly the same deal just minus the new phone every couple of years. Bonus tip: Find out how far in advance you need to cancel your contract, for me I had to inform the company 3 months before I wanted it to end.

Netflix, Audible, Subscription boxes… Whatever it is that you spend that extra cash on every month, ask yourself, do you really need it?

Before my partner and I moved in together he would go to the pub every night. I put my foot down in the name of all the adventures we could have with that money, there were no more nightly pints and date night was limited to once a month. Fun police alert, date nights also had a £50 spending limit.

Had a long day? really want to order a takeaway? That’s fine, but what are you going to give up so you can spend that money on your takeaway? Budgets aren’t fun, but the outcome usually is, keep your mind focused on what you will gain in the end.

Planning v Reality

Making a predicted spend and budget isn’t enough. Follow everything up with checking how much you actually spent. I check my finances weekly to make sure I’m saving and sticking to my budget the best I can.

Say you budgeted £120 for fuel for a month, but you’re actually spending more like £150. It’s ok if your budget wasn’t exactly right the first time, change the amount and figure out where you can save that extra £30 somewhere else.

On the other side, you budgeted £150 for groceries but you’ve been doing such an amazing job that you only actually spent £100. Change that budget too! Stick to your fantastic outcomes and that’s an extra £50 saved every month.

Start today

Get your own copy of my money tracker for free, simply fill out the form below. You could be on your way to saving money and being in complete control of your finances in no time.

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