Hate the idea of budgeting? Not ready to take that on but want to get a handle on your household finances? Or want to start a budget but don’t know how much to budget? Start with this. Track your household purchases.
I know that doesn’t sound like a whole lot more fun but having cute purchase tracking sheets can help 🙂
You can download these for free or create your own. Print one for every month.
You can also use a spreadsheet, but I like having the household purchases tracking sheets to quickly write on when I get home. It takes just seconds rather than having to sit at the computer or pull up an app. You are more likely to stick with it if it just takes up seconds of your time.
Every time I get home from the store or hand money over to the kids for this or that, I quickly jot it down into the correct category (grocery, fuel, entertainment, etc).
The other benefit to doing this every time you spend is that it makes you more aware of your spending and that in itself just may help you cut back. If you are trying to cut back and know you are going to write your purchases down when you get home, do you really want to have to write down that $5 latte? Maybe instead you will skip it that day or have a $2 green tea instead.
At the end of every month I total my categories.
I have recently started a household budget. I know….you don’t like budgeting, but it really is best to get a hold of your personal finances. These household purchase tracking sheets came in super handy. I used these totals for the past 4 months to see what my average spending was. This became the basis of my budget.
Even if you aren’t planning to take the next step and create a budget, tracking your purchases will still be of great benefit. As I said, just keeping your spending in the forefront of your mind can help you spend less.
You will likely find a category or two that you would have sworn you don’t spend that much in. For me it was groceries. If someone had asked me what we spend a month on groceries (family of 4) I would have guessed $500, but nope….I was shocked to see many months it was pushing $900! I am working on getting that down especially since I don’t feel like we eat extravagantly at all. I will let you know how that goes….