In honor of “Financial Wellness Month” the First County Advisors team, the Wealth Management Division of First County Bank, will be sharing some of their favorite financial fitness tips to put you on the right track in 2016.
It’s a growing trend in health and wellness. In an effort to become more fit, people are purchasing activity devices to track their steps, calories, and heart rate. But while our physical fitness is important, so too is another aspect of our lives – our financial fitness. And one of the best ways to improve our financial wellness is to do a different type of tracking – expense tracking.
Many people set goals to save more money, but far fewer take this important step toward achieving it. By taking the time to track your expenses, you’ll be able to identify where you are overspending and areas where you may be able to cut back and save. The best part is, you don’t even need a fancy tracking device to know where you stand. Here are some easy ways to monitor your expenditures:
– Keep track of every penny you spend for a month. To make it easier, many people use credit cards to make every purchase, since many credit cards allow you to track purchases by category. If you choose this method, be sure you do not charge more than you have on hand to pay the bill in full at month-end.
– Keep receipts. If you pay in cash, save your receipts for a 30-day period. Then, add up your receipts and track your spending by category. Some categories may include:
- Gas/Car expenses
- Housing expenses
– Monitor your spending online. Tools like online and mobile banking make it easy for you to see where your money goes.
One of the main reasons people don’t track their spending is that they don’t want to face the harsh reality about their spending habits. If you want to reduce your spending and save more, you have to be honest in how you track your expenses by recording every purchase you make. That’s the only way you can make changes. It really is a lot like physical fitness; no pain, no gain.
To inquire about our personal financial planning services, contact:
Dave Metzgar, CFP, CTFA, SVP
Senior Trust Officer
First County Advisors, the Wealth Management Division of First County Bank