tracking expenses

The Ultimate Guide For How To Track Expenses

Starting your journey of how to track expenses can be challenging without guidance. So, allow us to be your guide! There are many ways that people have found to be efficient in tracking expenses, thereby leading to less financial stress, more savings, and being able to make the larger purchases that they actually want. We have honed in on our top five expense-tracking methods right here. And we will go through each method to help you pick your perfect way.

How To Track Expenses: The Top 5 Methods

1. Track By Store

As somebody looking to learn how to track expenses, you are probably already familiar with the whole "put your spending into categories" ordeal. And while organizing by groups like entertainment, food, utilities, mortgage, eating out, etc., is helpful, categorizing by store might be more time-efficient. After all, you can buy a plethora of things at Target!

Generally speaking, your budget isn't there to dictate precisely how much you spend on each category (although some people do it like this). Instead, it exists to give you limitations that'll help you achieve your savings goals without hitting your overdraft or living above your means. Therefore, setting spending restrictions per store is oh so beneficial.

2. Use An App

We live in a digital world, so using an app is likely the most attractive option on our "how to track expenses" method list. In fact, your bank may come with an easy-to-use budget tool on their app.

Whether you want a super in-depth analysis of your spending or a simple tap-and-go tracking solution, there's a dedicated app you're bound to love. When choosing the best one for you, consider the following:

  • Fees — Many budgeting apps are free (thankfully). But some carry monthly charges. Of course, you're more likely to choose a free app. But if a paid version is likely to increase your financial awareness and limit overspending, it might be worth the cost.
  • Features — Every app has unique characteristics. So, test a few before committing to one. If you're familiar with mobile banking, you've already got a head start on the features you're looking for. Generally speaking, you'll need:
    • Financial account connections
    • Notifications for upcoming bill payments
    • Budget designing features
    • Credit score tracking
    • Expenses tracking
    • Financial goal setting
  • Customer service — Financial problems need quick resolutions; the same can be said for your expense tracking apps. Therefore, regard customer service highly when choosing your preferred app.
  • Data security — Some budgeting apps come with more sophisticated data security protocols than others. You want your financial information to be as safe as possible, so ensure you're happy with the level of protection before signing up.

3. The Envelope Method

The envelope method involves assigning one envelope to each spending category (or store, if you've chosen our first option). You give each envelope a dollar amount based on your income every month. Then, you can't spend more than the envelope allows on its category that month.

4. Download Transactions Afterward

This method is for those who want to ensure they're not mindlessly indulging in some areas. It's a great place to start tracking your expenses.

At the end of each month, download your transactions into a spreadsheet. Then, sort by store and assign a label to every transaction — concerts, gas, fast food, date night, coffee, etc. That way, you can see which categories you're overspending and make adjustments for the following month.

5. The Good Old Pencil-And-Paper Method

You don't need technology to track your spending. Just use a notebook and pen! It works as well as the other methods, except you'll have to do all the math yourself.

Don't Allow Emergencies To Derail Your Expenses. Get An Installment Loan

Crises can derail your expenses if you let them. But it doesn't have to be this way. Our installment loans allow you to borrow up to $1,500 in just 24 hours to handle unexpected costs.

learning how to track expenses

Here's how to get one:
  1. Complete the initial installment loan inquiry form found on this website. It sends your information to the closest Utah Title Loans, Inc. store.
  2. Pick up the phone when one of our friendly loan associates calls you to discuss the installment loan process and define the required documents. 
  3. After the call, head to your nearest branch with your driver's license (or another photographic ID card), proof of income, and your most recent 30-day checking account statement.
  4. Wait while our loan associate verifies your items to determine whether you can be approved for the loan.
  5. If you gain approval, complete the simple paperwork. We just need your signature on a few documents. 
  6. Lastly, you will receive the money you need to fund your emergency on the same or the very next business day.

Submit Your Installment Loan Inquiry Today!

Now that you know how to track expenses and where to find money during emergencies, you're well on your way to becoming financially free.

Complete our online form when you're in a pinch to get an installment loan in less than 24 hours!

Note: The content provided in this article is only for informational purposes, and you should contact your financial advisor about your specific financial situation.

June Mckaig

June Mckaig writes articles on finance and budgeting, hoping to provide insight amidst the overwhelming crowds of information on the internet. She feels that with all this accessibility comes a lot of false data, and she would like to contribute astute, helpful input that she knows can help others. If you would like to learn more about June's research, read more here.