Find out how creating a spending diary can help you take control of your money
Ever wondered why your money seems to just ‘vanish’ each month?
Most of us can keep an eye on the ‘big bills’ like mortgage payments, rent, council tax and so on.
But it’s the small things, like buying sandwiches at work, or irregular spending like birthday presents and vet bills, that add up without us even realising.
And with easy contactless and online payments, you can quickly lose track of your spending.
Knowing where your money goes each month is the first step towards taking better control of it. And that’s where a spending diary comes in.
To keep a spending diary, all you have to do is log exactly what you spend every day for a month.
You can use a notebook or a spreadsheet, or maybe one of the free phone apps that are available.
You can either write your spending down as you go or gather up all your receipts at the end of the day.
Don’t forget to log the day, the item, and how much you spent.
And give your bank and credit card statements a quick check, too – you might uncover some ‘hidden spending’ like gym memberships or magazine subscriptions.
Anytime is a good time if you’ve not done one before. But it’s particularly useful if your circumstances have changed – through bereavement, changing job, moving house, or starting a family.
A spending diary will help you track where your money is going. Then, you can see exactly how your outgoings measure up to your income....and identify places where you can cut back.
Maybe you’ll see an opportunity to save money by switching your car insurance provider or energy supplier.
And you can also set realistic targets for saving – whether that’s for your next holiday or Christmas or putting money away for your retirement.
So, with a spending diary, you can see exactly where your money is going –and then take steps to keep it under control.
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