How to track your spending securely, and save money
The best way to save money is to know where it goes. Here are some tips.
The problem with spending money is that it's hard to keep track of where it goes. Even if you have a great deal of self-discipline and are able to manage your finances well, it can still be easy to spend too much, or even go into debt.
If you want to prevent this from happening and instead start tracking your spending so that you know where your money goes, read on!
Tracking your spending will help you see where your money goes, in addition to helping you build good credit and prevent overspending in the future. It can also help you avoid recurring expenses and build savings habits.
Additionally, tracking your spending will make budgeting easier for you in the long run by providing an overview of how much money you spend annually.
Remember that this is highly private and confidential information, so you should only use apps that implement end-to-end encryption and are ideally open source.
In this article, we'll discuss some different ways that you can track your spending and save money as a result.
Use a budgeting app
If you want to track your spending, but don't want to set up an accounting system (which also categorizes income), you can still keep track of your expenses. One way that you can do this is by using a budgeting app.
These apps allow you to see a breakdown of your spending and categorize expenses against a budget and make sure that you don't go over that budget.
If you don't want to deal with the hassle of setting up an accounting system, or don't have the time to use a ledger book, a budgeting app may be a good option for you.
Some budgeting apps allow you to categorize your spending automatically, while others allow you to input transactions manually.
If you have a smartphone, you can also download budgeting apps to your phone so that you can stay on top of your spending while on the go.
Track your total spending
If you want to track your spending, the easiest thing to do is to just track your total spending for the month. This means that you need to know how much money is coming in at the start of the month, as well as how much money is going out at the end of the month.
To do this, you'll need to keep track of all of your expenses throughout the month. You can do this yourself by writing everything down in a journal, or you can use a budgeting app to help you out.
Regardless of how you do it, the goal is to track your spending throughout the year and categorize it into not more than 6-8 categories, like "Car", "Home", "Savings", "Groceries", "Eating Out", and "Misc".
Set up debt payoff strategies
Credit cards have become a common way to spend money, and they can help you build good credit.
Before using cash to pay for things, though, you may be better off first paying off your credit card debt. This helps to improve your credit score and lower the interest rate on your future loans, saving money on the short run, and potentially saving you money in the long run.
Some credit cards offer debt payoff programs where you can make payments online while they try to work out a lower interest rate for you.
You can also try to pay off your debt in chunks that are smaller than the original amount owed, which can also help to lower your interest rate.
Many credit card companies also allow you to pay off a certain amount each month, such as $50.
This helps to improve your credit score, and can also help to reduce your credit card debt over time.
Track your savings rate and goal
While credit cards can help you to build good credit, they also typically have a high-interest rate. As a result, it can be better to first begin building up a savings account.
Savings accounts typically have a low-interest rate and are generally FDIC-insured, so they are a safe way to save money for the future.
You can start by simply creating a savings account and then putting money into it each month.
As you can see from this, it's important to understand that tracking your spending does not have to be about tracking your income and expenses.
It can be about tracking your savings rate and goal, as well as your debt payoff strategies and credit card payoff strategies.
Only use end-to-end encrypted apps, ideally open source
When you're dealing with information that's highly personal and private, like expenses and budgets, you should make sure that you only apps that implement end-to-end encryption, and which are either open source or have their source code available.
This will prevent anyone but you from seeing your data, even the data storage owners.
This is critical when it comes to budgeting and tracking finances.
Tracking your spending is a great way to make sure that you're not spending too much money and to monitor how much you're spending each year.
Some budgeting apps also help you track your spending, while others just provide an overview of how much you're spending.
There are tons of ways that you can keep track of your spending, and the ability to see where your money is going is especially helpful when you're trying to build up a savings account.
Budget Zen is a great place to track your expenses and manage your budgets, especially if you're just getting started and need simplicity, not friction. It is end-to-end encrypted, and you can see its source code here.