Have you ever felt like you haven’t been spending a lot of money, but after looking at your bank statements, you realised that you’d spent more than you intended to, and maybe even more than you can afford to?
For most of us, it’s hard to remember how much money we’ve spent in the past month or even in the past week.
While we might be able to remember most of the things we’ve spent money on, chances are that we’ve forgotten about some of them.
When that happens, it’s easy to lose control of our spending because we have no idea how much we’ve really spent so far.
That’s why I think it’s necessary to record your expenses if you want to stay on top of your spending.
Recording your expenses will make you more aware of your spending and give you a clear view of not just how much you’ve spent, but also what you’ve spent on.
And when the numbers are presented in front of you, there’s no more guessing involved when trying to find out how much you’ve spent.
If your actual expenses are higher than what you perceived them to be, or if you’ve spread your budget a little too thin for the month, chances are that it’ll have an impact on your money psychology – at least for a while.
This may (hopefully) cause you to practice more restraint when it comes to spending money for that week or month and help you save some cash.
Personally, I’ve encountered many situations where I was contemplating certain purchases but decided against them because I couldn’t fit them into my monthly budget.
This has prevented me from making impulse purchases and helped me save on things that I didn’t need or feel strongly about.
I should note that the converse may also be true – if your actual expenses are lower than what you perceived them to be, you might be more inclined to spend for the rest of the week or month.
But honestly, I think that’s okay as long as you don’t go overboard with it.
In fact, it may even be good because living life with too lean a budget isn’t sustainable for most people in the long run.
Ultimately, having a budget and/or recording your expenses isn’t about seeing how much money you can save.
Instead, it’s about making sure that you save some money, however much it may be, and making your spending more intentional.
If you’re interested in more posts about expense tracking, you can check out my other posts on why I think you should do it and tips on getting started.