Why Tracking Your Transactions Is So Important
If you want to win with money, you have to change your behavior with money. The first step is making a budget. The second step is sticking to that budget.
Ah, there’s the hard part! So, what’s the best way to do that? Track. Your. Transactions.
Seriously. It’s one of the most important budgeting tips we can give you. And here are five reasons why it’s so important to track your transactions:
1. Tracking your transactions creates accountability.
If you’re married, tracking transactions means you’re bringing visibility to your spending with your spouse. How? You’re putting all your spending into the budget, into the right budget lines. No hiding. No secrets. If you’re single, you’re creating self-accountability because you’re putting every single purchase in the budget. Again—no hiding, from yourself.
2. Tracking your transactions keeps you from overspending.
When you enter an expense, you see how much you have left in that budget line. Right then. Right there. Instantly, you see where you stand so you don’t overspend in one area.
3. Tracking your transactions gets you in your budget.
You know a budget is your monthly money plan, but you can’t just set it and forget it. It’s not a slow cooker. Tracking transactions gets you in your budget in a regular rhythm—because you can’t take real control of your money if you don’t know what it’s actually doing.
4. Tracking your transactions points out your spending habits.
Maybe you don’t even realize you’re buying a fancy iced latte on the way to work every day—until you’re tracking that expense into a latte line in your budget five days a week. Hmm . . . Suddenly the numbers are staring you in the face. Hey, you can’t confront something if you don’t know it’s happening! And one major reason to budget is to see where your money’s going, so you don’t wonder where it went. (To lattes. It went to the lattes.) This brings us to our final point.
5. Tracking your transactions helps you get real with your money.
So, you’re seeing where your money goes and noting where you tend to spend the most. Now you can get real, with yourself. Ask yourself this question: Are my money habits lining up with my money goals, or are they holding me back? Then remind yourself of this—you’re the one in charge, not your spending. Make any changes you need to start putting your money where your goals are.
None of this is hard, but it can be time-consuming. That’s why Ramsey+ gives you the premium version of EveryDollar, which gets you the bank sync feature. You’ll connect your bank to your budget so your expenses and income stream right into your budget. You just drag and drop them to their correct budget line. And you can try it all today in a free trial to Ramsey+.
You’ll save time and won’t have to worry about forgetting a transaction or typing it in wrong! Faster and more accurate? Yes, please. Also, you get custom budget reports that break down income and spending, so you don’t have to spend hours analyzing what budget lines need the most help.
It all boils down to this: Budgets are active, and you’ve got to be interactive to make them work for you. So, go track your transactions, and start making your money do what YOU want.