The toughest part about tracking your spending

The standard procedure for getting a handle on your spending is to track it for a month — track where every penny goes, and categorize the expenditures.

Getting past a month is the toughest part.  It’s not too bad for the first few days of the month, but after a week, remembering to go through the freakin’ receipts is a drag.

I know this.  I’ve run across this psychological barrier many times and it’s tough to crack.

Fortunately, if you use a credit card for most of your purchases, you already have a record of what you buy — or, at least, the stores that you bought at.  This record, coupled with your receipts — which you can just shove in a box, honestly — are enough to give a decent picture of where your money went for the month.

Once you’get this 80% – 90% picture of where your money has gone, then you can tackle the last little bit — the cash purchases at the vending machine, paying out an allowance, yard sale purchases, etc.  But that becomes much easier to do if it’s only a small part of what you buy.

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