Friday, October 8, 2010

A Spending Diary

Most of us are familiar with Weight Watchers through commercials or actually having tried one of their weight loss programs.  It's a great concept that works on a simple principle: "Watch what you eat".

How about using the same premise to "Watch what you spend"?

We have an easy one-page work sheet that you can use as a budgeting tool to track where your money is going. You are far more likely to save money when you see how fast the small things that you buy here and there can add up. 

Click on the image below to see the full-size work sheet...


The best way to do this on a regular basis is to combine if with another daily routine e.g. brushing your teeth. While you brush your teeth, do a mental recap of your daily expenses. This helps you remember where your money went. But make sure you write down what you spent immediately after brushing your teeth.  You should include everything, even the dimes and nickels!

After a month of tracking your expenses, go over the completed sheets and try to figure out where you spent too much money on by evaluating each expense.

As they say, seeing is believing.  Once you actually see where your money goes you may be shocked to find a number of items that were unnecessary, perhaps frivolous expenses.  But you have made the first step in getting a better grip at your finances. 

Keep the exercise going; this will help you later on in establishing and maintaining your own personal budget.

If you would like a printable version (PDF file) of our work sheet please email:


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