Let the year of Financial Challenges begin. As I stated in my introduction to this idea, last week, each of these challenges will have the purpose of laying a strong foundation to build your wealth upon. So where would be the ideal place to lay our first brick?
Let me ask you a question and answer it honestly. Do you know where all of your hard earned money goes after every pay cheque? You spend the majority of your time in an office, on a construction site, or wherever you are employed trying to earn this money. Where does it go? What do you spend it on? Before I stumbled upon financial independence I was unaware of where all my money was disappearing to each week. I would be paid on Tuesday and by Sunday I would be counting pennies trying to get to Tuesday again. This leads me to this months challenge.
Tracking Your Expenses
This month’s challenge is very tedious, but you can’t take the next step in getting your finances in order without it. This means that every time you make a purchase in the month of January you will write it down or save the receipt. By tracking your expenses you will know where every dollar is being spent.
Here is an example of what I include when I track my own expenses.
|1||January 1st, 2016||Tim Hortons||$3.43||Food||Coffee, donut|
|2||January 1st, 2016||N/A||$450.00||Housing||Rent|
As you can see I include the date, store, category and what was purchased. I use this information for my budget but you don’t need to get into that much detail.
There are many ways to track your expenses. No one-way is the right way so do your own thing and customize it in any way you want. However, the more detail you involve the easier it will be to remember your expenses later.
Requirements for the Challenge
This month’s challenge, along with tracking your expenses, involves commenting on this post with one or two categories you were surprised with how much money you spent on. Some categories will be fairly standard like rent, house payments, hydro bills and so on. However, there will be a couple that may surprise you. That could include eating out, bars, or shopping. Track your expenses and you will find out where your money is going. The first block to a stable financial future!
So there you have it. Track your expenses for January and post a comment with a category you were surprised with. Super easy!
I am looking forward to seeing all of your responses!