Making the First Step toward Financial Freedom & Tracking Your Spending

So, you have decided to get real about your finances? Making the decision is a good start, but just like anything else that is worthwhile, it takes effort and discipline.  More than just those two attributes, it takes preparation.  My preparation came in the form of a three month analysis of my spending habits.  In my opinion, a three month snapshot of your spending is the most important thing you can do relating to personal finance.

Tracking your finances has a multitude of benefits.  Being able to see what you spend is just the tip of the iceberg.  By going through this preparation process, you will be holding yourself accountable for your spending.  You will also have information in your hands that you can make active decisions with (creating a budget, targeting areas to reduce consumption, etc.).  And most importantly, you are actively investing effort into your financial situation, confirming a desire to get your finances in order.

Regardless of your situation, tracking your finances is the most important step to your own financial awareness.  For example, if you are in debt, and can’t seem to climb out of the hole, you are likely to learn where you can cut back your consumption in order to pay off your debt in an accelerated fashion.  Conversely, maybe you have a really high income, and have your debts paid, but you aren’t saving anything.  Taking a closer look into your finances will make you see where all your hard earned money has gone and allows you the opportunity to decide if you want to maintain your current spending pattern, or make changes.  Below, I will outline two different methods of accomplishing this task.

Mint.com is a valuable resource in tracking your spending habits

Mint.com is a valuable resource in tracking your spending habits

Method one:  Set up an account at Mint.com or a similar site.  By registering your accounts with Mint.com, you will be able to get a very good snapshot of your spending without having to invest much time beyond the initial setup.  The drawbacks to this method are that you will still have to enter in cash purchases (you can do so by dividing up where you spent the money you withdrew from an ATM – also tracked by Mint.com) and you may have to spend a few moments recategorizing purchases that get misplaced into Mint.com’s built in categories (Mint.com’s software is very good at its auto-categorization, but it is not foolproof just yet).

Method two: Track your finances yourself in excel.  Now this method will take more time, but is likely to give you the most accurate information.  Furthermore, making the decision to “actively” track your spending, will actually have a direct effect on your spending as you will think twice before making a frivolous purchase, knowing you will have to enter it into a spreadsheet later.  Setting up one of these spreadsheets can be a barrier for some to get motivated and to get started.  That is why you can click here to download a sample spreadsheet I made for my friend Lauren for the months of July, August and September.  If you have any questions about how the spreadsheet works, please feel free to e-mail me at bscheur@gmail.com.

Either of the methods above will help you take that first step toward financial freedom.  The information you will gather about yourself and your spending habits is invaluable and will be your greatest asset when trying to figure out how to get out of debt faster, increasing your savings, or plan for retirement.

Best of luck.

219 Responses to Making the First Step toward Financial Freedom & Tracking Your Spending
  1. Health and Fitness
    April 20, 2018 | 6:00 am

    I happen to be commenting to let you be aware of what a helpful discovery my cousin’s child enjoyed browsing your site. She realized too many pieces, not to mention how it is like to have an incredible teaching heart to get certain people quite simply know some impossible things. You really did more than readers’ expectations. I appreciate you for offering these effective, trusted, explanatory and even unique thoughts on the topic to Mary.

  2. vendor konveksi surabaya
    April 20, 2018 | 6:09 am

    Awesome post. I am a regular visitor of your site and appreciate you taking the time to maintain the excellent site. I’ll be a frequent visitor for a really long time.

  3. klik disini
    April 20, 2018 | 6:18 am

    Hello there. I discovered your web site via Google while searching for a related subject, your site got here up. It appears good. I’ve bookmarked it in my google bookmarks to visit then.

  4. Promo suzuki bali
    April 20, 2018 | 6:56 am

    Hey there. I found your blog by the use of Google even as looking for a comparable subject, your site came up. It seems great. I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks to visit then.

  5. News
    April 20, 2018 | 7:19 am

    I truly appreciate this post. I’ve been looking all over for this! Thank goodness I found it on Bing. You have made my day! Thx again!

  6. sultandomino.com
    April 20, 2018 | 8:23 am

    Awesome post. I am a regular visitor of your blog and appreciate you taking the time to maintain the nice site. I will be a frequent visitor for a really long time.

  7. dominoq
    April 20, 2018 | 10:15 am

    Hi there. I found your blog via Google while searching for a similar subject, your web site got here up. It seems good. I’ve bookmarked it in my google bookmarks to visit then.

  8. established websites for sale
    April 20, 2018 | 11:38 am

    Muchos Gracias for your article post.Much thanks again. Really Great.

  9. Health and Fitness
    April 20, 2018 | 1:47 pm

    Its wonderful as your other posts : D, thankyou for putting up. “It takes less time to do things right than to explain why you did it wrong.” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

  10. Health and Fitness
    April 20, 2018 | 4:37 pm

    Thanks for your entire work on this blog. My niece take interest in working on investigation and it is simple to grasp why. A number of us notice all about the powerful tactic you offer useful secrets by means of your blog and even cause contribution from some other people on the article plus our girl is truly understanding a whole lot. Take advantage of the remaining portion of the year. You are always conducting a dazzling job.

  11. Health and Fitness
    April 20, 2018 | 5:18 pm

    But wanna comment on few general things, The website style is perfect, the content is real excellent : D.

  12. Health and Fitness
    April 20, 2018 | 6:22 pm

    I have learn a few good stuff here. Definitely worth bookmarking for revisiting. I wonder how so much effort you set to make the sort of wonderful informative site.

  13. News
    April 20, 2018 | 6:55 pm

    I wish to convey my affection for your generosity for men and women that require guidance on that matter. Your real dedication to getting the solution all over turned out to be surprisingly invaluable and has without exception encouraged men and women like me to achieve their endeavors. Your amazing warm and helpful tips and hints entails this much to me and somewhat more to my mates. Regards; from everyone of us.

  14. Qiu Qiu Online
    April 20, 2018 | 10:12 pm

    Awesome write-up. I’m a normal visitor of your web site and appreciate you taking the time to maintain the excellent site. I will be a regular visitor for a long time.

  15. decorindoperkasa
    April 20, 2018 | 11:46 pm

    Awesome write-up. I’m a regular visitor of your blog and appreciate you taking the time to maintain the nice site. I’ll be a frequent visitor for a really long time.

  16. DominoQQ Online
    April 20, 2018 | 11:48 pm

    Hi there. I found your site by way of Google while looking for a related matter, your site came up. It looks great. I’ve bookmarked it in my google bookmarks to come back then.

  17. Health and Fitness
    April 21, 2018 | 12:07 am

    It’s the best time to make some plans for the future and it is time to be happy. I’ve read this post and if I could I wish to suggest you some interesting things or advice. Perhaps you can write next articles referring to this article. I want to read even more things about it!

  18. Link Alternatif PokerPelangi
    April 21, 2018 | 12:27 am

    Hi there. I discovered your blog by means of Google whilst looking for a similar matter, your site came up. It appears good. I’ve bookmarked it in my google bookmarks to come back then.

  19. Agen Dominobet Online
    April 21, 2018 | 2:06 am

    Hiya, I am really glad I have found this information. Nowadays bloggers publish just about gossip and net stuff and this is actually irritating. A good blog with interesting content, that is what I need. Thank you for making this web site, and I’ll be visiting again. Do you do newsletters by email?

Leave a Reply


Wanting to leave an <em>phasis on your comment?

Trackback URL http://mynextbuck.com/making-the-first-step-toward-financial-freedom-%e2%80%93-tracking-your-spending/trackback/

Making the First Step toward Financial Freedom & Tracking Your Spending

So, you have decided to get real about your finances? Making the decision is a good start, but just like anything else that is worthwhile, it takes effort and discipline.  More than just those two attributes, it takes preparation.  My preparation came in the form of a three month analysis of my spending habits.  In my opinion, a three month snapshot of your spending is the most important thing you can do relating to personal finance.

Tracking your finances has a multitude of benefits.  Being able to see what you spend is just the tip of the iceberg.  By going through this preparation process, you will be holding yourself accountable for your spending.  You will also have information in your hands that you can make active decisions with (creating a budget, targeting areas to reduce consumption, etc.).  And most importantly, you are actively investing effort into your financial situation, confirming a desire to get your finances in order.

Regardless of your situation, tracking your finances is the most important step to your own financial awareness.  For example, if you are in debt, and can’t seem to climb out of the hole, you are likely to learn where you can cut back your consumption in order to pay off your debt in an accelerated fashion.  Conversely, maybe you have a really high income, and have your debts paid, but you aren’t saving anything.  Taking a closer look into your finances will make you see where all your hard earned money has gone and allows you the opportunity to decide if you want to maintain your current spending pattern, or make changes.  Below, I will outline two different methods of accomplishing this task.

Mint.com is a valuable resource in tracking your spending habits

Mint.com is a valuable resource in tracking your spending habits

Method one:  Set up an account at Mint.com or a similar site.  By registering your accounts with Mint.com, you will be able to get a very good snapshot of your spending without having to invest much time beyond the initial setup.  The drawbacks to this method are that you will still have to enter in cash purchases (you can do so by dividing up where you spent the money you withdrew from an ATM – also tracked by Mint.com) and you may have to spend a few moments recategorizing purchases that get misplaced into Mint.com’s built in categories (Mint.com’s software is very good at its auto-categorization, but it is not foolproof just yet).

Method two: Track your finances yourself in excel.  Now this method will take more time, but is likely to give you the most accurate information.  Furthermore, making the decision to “actively” track your spending, will actually have a direct effect on your spending as you will think twice before making a frivolous purchase, knowing you will have to enter it into a spreadsheet later.  Setting up one of these spreadsheets can be a barrier for some to get motivated and to get started.  That is why you can click here to download a sample spreadsheet I made for my friend Lauren for the months of July, August and September.  If you have any questions about how the spreadsheet works, please feel free to e-mail me at bscheur@gmail.com.

Either of the methods above will help you take that first step toward financial freedom.  The information you will gather about yourself and your spending habits is invaluable and will be your greatest asset when trying to figure out how to get out of debt faster, increasing your savings, or plan for retirement.

Best of luck.

219 Responses to Making the First Step toward Financial Freedom & Tracking Your Spending
  1. Health and Fitness
    April 20, 2018 | 6:00 am

    I happen to be commenting to let you be aware of what a helpful discovery my cousin’s child enjoyed browsing your site. She realized too many pieces, not to mention how it is like to have an incredible teaching heart to get certain people quite simply know some impossible things. You really did more than readers’ expectations. I appreciate you for offering these effective, trusted, explanatory and even unique thoughts on the topic to Mary.

  2. vendor konveksi surabaya
    April 20, 2018 | 6:09 am

    Awesome post. I am a regular visitor of your site and appreciate you taking the time to maintain the excellent site. I’ll be a frequent visitor for a really long time.

  3. klik disini
    April 20, 2018 | 6:18 am

    Hello there. I discovered your web site via Google while searching for a related subject, your site got here up. It appears good. I’ve bookmarked it in my google bookmarks to visit then.

  4. Promo suzuki bali
    April 20, 2018 | 6:56 am

    Hey there. I found your blog by the use of Google even as looking for a comparable subject, your site came up. It seems great. I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks to visit then.

  5. News
    April 20, 2018 | 7:19 am

    I truly appreciate this post. I’ve been looking all over for this! Thank goodness I found it on Bing. You have made my day! Thx again!

  6. sultandomino.com
    April 20, 2018 | 8:23 am

    Awesome post. I am a regular visitor of your blog and appreciate you taking the time to maintain the nice site. I will be a frequent visitor for a really long time.

  7. dominoq
    April 20, 2018 | 10:15 am

    Hi there. I found your blog via Google while searching for a similar subject, your web site got here up. It seems good. I’ve bookmarked it in my google bookmarks to visit then.

  8. established websites for sale
    April 20, 2018 | 11:38 am

    Muchos Gracias for your article post.Much thanks again. Really Great.

  9. Health and Fitness
    April 20, 2018 | 1:47 pm

    Its wonderful as your other posts : D, thankyou for putting up. “It takes less time to do things right than to explain why you did it wrong.” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

  10. Health and Fitness
    April 20, 2018 | 4:37 pm

    Thanks for your entire work on this blog. My niece take interest in working on investigation and it is simple to grasp why. A number of us notice all about the powerful tactic you offer useful secrets by means of your blog and even cause contribution from some other people on the article plus our girl is truly understanding a whole lot. Take advantage of the remaining portion of the year. You are always conducting a dazzling job.

  11. Health and Fitness
    April 20, 2018 | 5:18 pm

    But wanna comment on few general things, The website style is perfect, the content is real excellent : D.

  12. Health and Fitness
    April 20, 2018 | 6:22 pm

    I have learn a few good stuff here. Definitely worth bookmarking for revisiting. I wonder how so much effort you set to make the sort of wonderful informative site.

  13. News
    April 20, 2018 | 6:55 pm

    I wish to convey my affection for your generosity for men and women that require guidance on that matter. Your real dedication to getting the solution all over turned out to be surprisingly invaluable and has without exception encouraged men and women like me to achieve their endeavors. Your amazing warm and helpful tips and hints entails this much to me and somewhat more to my mates. Regards; from everyone of us.

  14. Qiu Qiu Online
    April 20, 2018 | 10:12 pm

    Awesome write-up. I’m a normal visitor of your web site and appreciate you taking the time to maintain the excellent site. I will be a regular visitor for a long time.

  15. decorindoperkasa
    April 20, 2018 | 11:46 pm

    Awesome write-up. I’m a regular visitor of your blog and appreciate you taking the time to maintain the nice site. I’ll be a frequent visitor for a really long time.

  16. DominoQQ Online
    April 20, 2018 | 11:48 pm

    Hi there. I found your site by way of Google while looking for a related matter, your site came up. It looks great. I’ve bookmarked it in my google bookmarks to come back then.

  17. Health and Fitness
    April 21, 2018 | 12:07 am

    It’s the best time to make some plans for the future and it is time to be happy. I’ve read this post and if I could I wish to suggest you some interesting things or advice. Perhaps you can write next articles referring to this article. I want to read even more things about it!

  18. Link Alternatif PokerPelangi
    April 21, 2018 | 12:27 am

    Hi there. I discovered your blog by means of Google whilst looking for a similar matter, your site came up. It appears good. I’ve bookmarked it in my google bookmarks to come back then.

  19. Agen Dominobet Online
    April 21, 2018 | 2:06 am

    Hiya, I am really glad I have found this information. Nowadays bloggers publish just about gossip and net stuff and this is actually irritating. A good blog with interesting content, that is what I need. Thank you for making this web site, and I’ll be visiting again. Do you do newsletters by email?

Leave a Reply


Wanting to leave an <em>phasis on your comment?

Trackback URL http://mynextbuck.com/making-the-first-step-toward-financial-freedom-%e2%80%93-tracking-your-spending/trackback/