How to Track your expenses?

The quicker we learn the art of tracking our expenses the better we would be in managing our finances. Often unheeded but knowing how much and on what we spend on, is the first step in taking control of our finances. The age-old method of writing and maintaining a diary with your daily expenses is very much still valid. I know of people who do it and it works. Now the question, do I do it?… NO.. 

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However, interestingly before I got down to writing this. I downloaded an app called Expense Note. I found that handy and quick. One thing that is common in all age groups, genders, and different parts of our country is the use of a smartphone. So, these apps are relevant, easy to use, and effective. When I say these, I mean you have multiple choices to choose from. They are free and you can choose as per your preference. I haven’t tried other apps but I am sure more or less all serve the same purpose. It is just a matter of which format you like the most. 

Need for expenses tracking applications

Before we get into the tracking systems, let us understand why we need them? When there is a record of what we have spent, we are in a better position to plan future expenditures. It also allows you to see the possible areas where you can cut down on your expenses so it enables you to plan your savings. Moreover, tracking the expenses will allow you to make realistic budgets and avoid spending more than the proposed income. It can help you to rely on your current income and avoid getting into debt. This can also help you to analyze your purchasing behavior. More than ever, one of the “To-Do lists” for many people is to save more money. With the pandemic situation, many lost their jobs and understood the value of managing money well. Regrettably, savings are easier said than done. With the purchasing power that the credit card system and easy loans bought in our life, most struggle to save. So it is definitely never too late to start a good habit. 

Which Expense Tracking app to use: 

For a beginner, try the free apps with good reviews and high ratings. You can easily ascertain that from Google Playstore for android users and the App Store for iOS users. Once you get comfortable and start realizing the importance and need for it, you can register for an app that comes at a reasonable cost. The ones that come at a cost would mostly allow you to take a free trial. 

As per a research article on https://www.cnbc.com/select/best-expense-tracker-apps/ following are the best trackers as per different categories: 

Find more suggestions here 

What to keep an eye on while choosing the app:

  • Easy to Use: Simple user interface and easy to navigate is a must for people like me. What is the point of spending half our life in understanding the app to use it? After all, the purpose of using the app is to have a simple system in place.  
  • Authentic: With rising internet scams and digital frauds, this is a MUST to pay heed to. Be extra cautious if you are going to add your bank or credit card details. Read reviews. 
  • Data Synchronisation feature. A good app should be able to synchronize your data and give meaningful insight. 
  • Data Security and Privacy Policy: Though google play and apple app store are safe to download apps from but to stay safe there is no harm in being extra cautious. So it is a good idea to read through the information before you submit or agree to anything on the apps. 

As mentioned at the beginning of the article, manually keeping a record is definitely still valid and used by many. However, using an expense app takes an upper hand because it not only allows you to maintain a record but it also helps in categorizing the spending. Some expense tracker application goes a step further by syncing your bank and credit card statements. This can surely help you save time in opening statements of each bank and credit card. It also makes it easy to keep a track of pending dues. 

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