Do you know where your money goes? EVERY DOLLAR?

Tracking every dollar is tedious at first. But, until you know where every dollar goes, it’s incredibly difficult to control your spending. I’ve made it a habit to sit down every 2-3 days to write down and categorize every transaction. This allows me to control my spending throughout the month and makes me think about future purchases. I have often found myself reconsidering purchases that I wouldn’t have hesitated to make before dollar tracking.

Monthly Budget - Projected vs. Actual

Based on your usual monthly income and expenses, you can start each month with a projected income and expense spreadsheet. As your income rolls in and your expenses pour out, you plug those in. The result at the end of each month will be a nice snapshot of your surplus/deficit. It will also show you a total for each category, which has been especially helpful in seeing where our money goes. This also helps me see where I may need to tighten up the budget.

The Dollar Tracker

This is where you literally input every transaction – every dollar! Once you have listed your transactions for the month, you can group them into categories and transfer the category totals over to your Monthly Budget spreadsheet. These are your actual expenses that you can compare to your projected and see how close you got. Finally, all my years of watching The Price is Right are paying off!

It’s so easy to swipe a debit card and overspend on frivolous things. Trust me, those TJ Maxx and Target trips just don’t hit the same when you have to write down every dollar.

With this zero-based budget technique, every dollar has a purpose. Any surplus is thrown at either paying down debt or filling (maybe even refilling) your baby emergency fund. What started out as a chore has become one of the most helpful parts of our debt payoff. Now you can see why The Dollar Tracker makes more cents.


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**The links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase an item, I will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain my own.

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