3 Ways to Make Tracking Your Expenses a Habit

Tracking expenses is the best habit you can have for making your budget work.

It keeps you connected with your plan and your money goals. You know what you bought, when you bought it, how much you paid, and what’s left to spend for the month. And since tracking only takes a few minutes, it doesn’t eat up a lot of time. Now, let’s get started so you can begin working this habit into your routine.

Here are three ways to stay focused on expense tracking until it becomes automatic.

1. Set a reminder for yourself. Maybe it’s an alert on your phone, a sticky note on the fridge, or an appointment on your email calendar—whatever works best for you. Those reminders will help you keep expense tracking fresh in your mind as you go about your busy day.

2. Check transactions daily. Take a couple of minutes at the same time each day to record your purchases. If you don’t make any, then you’re set. Daily tracking keeps you focused on your money and simplifies the process. Receipts don’t pile up, and there’s a smaller chance of today’s grocery store run slipping by you.

3. Give yourself a reward. Tracking your spending is a big accomplishment, so treat it that way! Each day after you record your expenses, give yourself a pat on the back. When you have a week of tracking under your belt, celebrate with a special treat or movie night. Then prepare for the biggest reward of all. At the end of the month, look at your budget and soak in the satisfaction that comes with knowing you stuck to your plan. That’s how you win. And you are winning—one tracked expense at a time!

It doesn’t take long for tracking to become a habit. You can speed the process up even more by upgrading to EveryDollar Plus and connecting your bank to your budget. All you have to do is drag and drop your transactions. Budgeting becomes so simple that it’s fun—and that doesn’t take long to get used to!