7 Budget Tracking Tips to Help You Save Money and Achieve Financial Wellness - NYCM Insurance Blog

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Jan 3, 2020

7 Budget Tracking Tips to Help You Save Money and Achieve Financial Wellness

Chances are, if you’re reading this article then you are starting to think about budgeting your money as a means of achieving financial success. First things first, give yourself a pat on the back!

Despite the significant positive impact budgeting can have on one’s financial well-being, a majority of people do not take the time to track their expenses and plan for the future. Whether you’re just starting out or have been budgeting for years, here are some tips to help you gain a better understanding of your spending and help you save money.

1. Understand the end goal
Before you begin your budgeting journey, it’s important to identify and understand the end goal. Are you budgeting to gain a better understanding of your current spending habits? Or perhaps saving up for an expensive vacation? Having a goal will help you cater your budgeting to fit your specific needs.

2. Track spending for a short period of time
And when we say track, we mean track. Every. Single. Expense. Whether it’s that new jacket you’ve had your eye on or an impulse visit to your local coffee shop, it’s important to track every single item you purchase to get an accurate idea of what you’re spending. Once you start tracking, you may be surprised to see how quickly small expenses add up! Seeing the big picture can inspire you to start incorporating more money-saving habits into your daily routine.

3. Put it on the plastic
One way to make budgeting easier is to charge everything to a credit card for a designated period of time. This is an easy way to keep track of everything you’re spending money on. Use this knowledge to identify areas of improvement. Ask yourself, are there expenses you could cut back on? An added benefit to this budgeting method: Paying off credit card payments in a timely fashion is a great way to build credit!

4. If you don’t know, ask
If you’re feeling unsure about your financial health or have specific questions on how to achieve your goals, you may want to consider setting up time to meet with a financial advisor. These sessions are particularly useful if you have questions specific to your current budget or goals. If you’re still in college then you may have access to a financial advisor through your career services office. Explore the options available to you in your community and online!

5. Take advantage of free resources
Ah, the wonderful world that is the internet! Long gone are the days of having to come up with a budget template on your own. Thanks to modern technology, there are a variety of resources available for little to no cost online. Try out a budgeting app or download a basic monthly budget template below!

6. Prioritize your savings
For most of us, the goal of budgeting is to save money. Rather than waiting to see what’s left in your bank account at the end of the pay period, prioritize your savings by putting money aside first. Having a dedicated effort toward building your savings account is the best way to save up and fend off erroneous expenses.

7. Start now
The sooner you start tracking, the sooner you can get a better handle on your finances and start saving. While budgeting is a chore that is easy to put off, being proactive will yield better results.
Use these tips to hit “refresh” on your finances and start taking control of your financial health. Click here to get started right away by downloading a monthly budget-tracking template. 

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