Do you track your spending? Did you just roll your eyes? I know, it sounds tedious at first, but there is no better way to stay connected to your money than to keep track of your daily purchases and expenditures. It’s powerful. It’s informative. It helps you stay in touch with your choices, gives you immediate feedback and adds a new level of clarity to your life. Tracking your spending is one of the best possible ways to improve your finances. And if that wasn’t enough, here are 5 more great reasons to track your spending. You may be surprised by a few!
1. Insight into What’s Missing – Tracking often reveals areas of unmet needs, even areas of deprivation. You may think that you’re taking care of yourself and your needs, but you may ultimately find that you’ve made yourself the last priority. Tracking can help you devise ways to meet those unmet needs – such as more time for yourself, pride in your home, an appropriate wardrobe or more social interaction.
2. Improved Relationships – Many clients say that money is a primary source of family and relationship conflict. We’ve all heard it before, “it’s the number one thing couples fight about.” When you manage money through tracking, though, you may have fewer arguments about it. It takes the mystery out of where the money went and where the money will go. Plus, it causes you to me more honest with yourself about money. More honesty with money translates to more honesty in general, which leads to healthier communication overall.
3. Reduction of Stress-Related Illness – Stress is one of the leading causes of illness. And if you’re stressed out about money, you’re not doing your health any favors. Managing money better can alleviate stress and improve your general health. In addition, if you’ve been unable to afford preventative healthcare, a gym membership, or fitness classes, being able to designate funds towards these will also contribute to better well-being.
4. Increased Self-Esteem – It doesn’t feel good to struggle with money and it can take a toll on you over time. Addressing something that’s been weighing you down goes a long way toward building your confidence. Once you start tracking you’ll find it easier and easier to make stronger choices with your money. You’ll get to a point where you are proud of your financial accomplishments and the fact that you can take such good care of yourself (and your family).
5. Spiritual Insights – As you become more mindful in one area of your life, it’s likely that you’ll become more mindful in others. Struggles can be a huge distraction from having the kind of spirituality you may crave. Money chaos can eclipse your view of your higher self, your higher purpose, and even your higher power. Setting yourself on the right path with your money can lead to much greater things in your life, some of which you may not even be able to image yet.
And the list doesn’t stop there! These are just a few of the wonderful benefits that come through tracking your spending. So if you’re still not sure about the value behind tracking – get on board. Bust out a notebook, a spreadsheet, or look into using MoneyMinder (moneyminderonline.com). It’s the best time you could possibly invest in yourself!
If you’d like to read more about tracking your spending, check out chapter four in Karen McCall’s book, Financial Recovery, developing a health relationship with money. You’ll find these benefits, plus many others.