Do you often wonder: “Where did my money go?” You know that you had this amount and that amount, but you just can’t seem to figure out why you suddenly have an empty wallet or zero balance in your bank account. Let’s sort that out so that you’lll never have to wonder where your money went.
In this post, we will teach you how to manage your funds and track where your money is going with the help of an Excel sheet that we will also be giving out FOR FREE at the end of this post. And, to guide you how to use the worksheet, there’s also a quick video tutorial.
Managing Your Money is Important
Learning HOW TO MANAGE YOUR MONEY (including knowing WHERE YOUR MONEY GOES) is such a key component of adulting. I’d say it’s particularly even more crucial to learn how to manage our finances while we’re single and starting off in the workforce, as the habits we’ll surely carry over to family life whatever habits we form during this period. If you’re already in a relationship or married, I’m sure you already know how crucial it is to know how to manage your money.
Tips to NEVER AGAIN ask “WHERE DID MY MONEY GO?”
Key Item #1: DEFINE A BUDGET PLAN
To manage means to be “in charge of”. A budget plan is a tool that helps you direct where your money should come from, and where your money should go.
On that note: MONITOR YOUR EXPENSES and FOCUS ON THE ESENTIALS. What do you HAVE to spend on? While drafting your budget, it’s essential to make a distinction between needs and wants. You may even want to categorize your expenses into stuff that will help other people and stuff that are just for yourself (this I do). Put an amount on the important stuff (e.g. savings!!!!, family obligations, food, transportation, church/ministry contributions, etc) before allocating an amount for the nice-to-haves.
It may work differently for you, but what has worked for me is to prioritize stuff in this order: savings, tithing + ministry, family, self.
TIP: While it is IMPORTANT to invest in insurance, and maybe even stocks, etc, make sure that you UNDERSTAND THE RISK INVOLVED. There is usually no certainty of a return--and there may even be a loss. My rule of thumb is that I will only invest money that I am willing to lose. If I don't have any emergency fund yet or if I am struggling to make ends meet, then I have to prioritize that.
Key item #2: REGULAR MONITORING IS KEY
Once you’ve got your budget plan laid out, it will make no sense if you don’t actually refer to it. I easily forget where I spent my money on, and this requires me to record all transactions I do daily. I keep my receipts as much as possible, and log what happened to me financially at the end of every day. Fine, I skip some days (when I’m feeling a bit irresponsible) but I try my best to take note of my income/expense for the day in a notepad or even on my phone.
I’ll be bold enough to say it, but you will not learn how to manage your money if you aren’t actually regularly monitoring it. You’ll just be surprised that one day, your money’s all gone. (This actually happened to me 6 years ago, story to follow.) S o, make sure that DAY BY DAY, you know where your money went.
Key item #3: ASSESS YOUR BUDGET PLAN & ADJUST
You realize after 3 months that you are spending waaaay more than your planned budget for Groceries. What do you do? Just accept that as it is? Well, for some cases, you may need to just accept that you have underestimated your budget and adjust it accordingly. For some cases though, you may need to do some analysis on what is causing your inflated spending & how you can address it. Do you need to maybe go to the public market instead of Rustan’s or S&R? Do you need to lessen your Grab or Uber rides? This is where you’ll need to apply practical wisdom.
“Where Did My Money Go?” Worksheet!
There are so many apps and website offering help to know where you money goes but if you want to stick to good ol’ simple Excel–which is what I recommend because you’ll have more control on your budget–then I have a gift for you!
I created a FREE MONEY MANAGEMENT WORKSHEET that will FOR SURE help you how to manage your money and track where your money goes.
Did you get an error saying that you can't submit the form because you've already subscribed before? Plug in your details above, click on that link to update your profile and then check your email! You'll get a note asking you to update your preferences. Just select the BUDGET giveaway, and you'll get your FREE download via email!
Free Video Tutorial on Using the “Where Did My Money Go?” Worksheet
For guidance on how to use this worksheet to manage your money, here’s a tutorial: