2 Easy Ways to Track Your Personal Expenses

My thoughts exactly.By J R. CC BY 2.0

Author’s Note: This is an entry that I wrote in response to a question on Quora.com: How do I keep track of my personal expenses simply?

2 ways: make an expense log or use your credit card statement.

You don’t need software or an online service to track expenses. Here are 2 very practical ways for you to achieve your goal.

Method 1: Expense Log
A log is just a notepad that you write in. You simply write down the item and then the amount. I’ve never had to track my expenses because I’ve never had problems with money, but in my life, I’ve kept track of the calories I ate (I’m a hard-gainer and wanted to gain weight, so I had to make sure I was eating enough). Everything I ate, I would write it down in a small notepad. Sometimes I would eat without my notepad, but I would always write it down later. If you have a good enough memory, you can simply write things down in your notepad once a day, at the end of the day. This takes a lot of commitment and you’ll need to carry your notepad and pen with you everywhere, but it is wildly effective. You can also tally up daily expenses and take those and tally up your monthly expenses. You can also categorize your expenses or compare month-to-month totals.

Method 2: Credit Card Statement
A credit card statement is a great way to track and tally your expenses every month. Credit card companies will automatically provide these statements to you either through mail or electronically. I suggest taking advantage of this and using it as a tracker. To do this, get a credit card and use it for everything that you want track. For example, if you want to track only your food expenses, then you should only use the credit card for food, groceries, and dining out. The main problem here is that sometimes you have to pay cash. If you think this credit card method is good, then simply keep the receipts for cash payments, keep a little jar on your table, and throw receipts in there. Tally up those receipts totals along with your monthly credit card statement.

5 comments on “2 Easy Ways to Track Your Personal Expenses

Write a comment