Importance of tracking expenses, especially for young adults

Chinese New Year is arriving soon. How’s the spring clean preparations so far? Luckily for me my family and I were so done with all the spring cleaning. But most of us may miss out on that one important thing, and that’s spring clean our financial house.

Often we spend whatever we have and frankly speaking, do you remember how much you have spent in order to get ready for CNY? Buying yourself a pretty dress, giving your hair a fresh new look and doing a manicure/pedicure? Based on my past few years’ records, I realized my spending tend to rocket up during the CNY season.

Yes – one good way of spring cleaning our financial house is to keep track of our expenses.

I admitted that I were a spendthrift, once. During my poly days, I spent ALL my monthly allowances given by my parents, and ALL income earned from McCafΓ© and USS back then. Without a clue on what I had spent, my immaturity and ignorance had led to my pathetic amount of savings right now. Finally, in 2015 I decided I had enough, I must know what did I spent on. I bought a scheduler and forced myself to record my daily expenses. Fortunately this habit is now a part of me and I have benefited from it tremendously.

Tracking your daily expenses really helps a lot, especially for young adults. I am able to oversee my spending behaviour and amend my spending behaviour in order to keep within my budget. On days when I spent too much, guilt overwhelmed me. On days when I spent lesser, I felt a sense of satisfaction. Doing this allows me to see the reality of my finances. Often I encourage my friends to do this as well, but I agreed it can be a tedious and intimidating process.

Now, the question is, how to start on this? There’re mainly 2 options, depending on your preferences.

  1. The digital way: using a mobile application – there’re many apps available in the market now. Just google one and see which one fits you most.
  2. The traditional way: recording down manually

Personally I prefer the traditional way as I can do so much thing with just 1 bullet journal.

I can see my schedule/ appointment at a glance
I can draw and design anything
And then I can record my daily expenses (left) and the overall expenditure for that month (right)

Both ways are perfectly good, so long as it serve the purpose of getting a picture of your spending. Hopefully this inspires you to start tracking your spending. Not only it will help you to save, it help you to set financial goals in the future. If you are also actively tracking your expenses, comment if you agree with me!

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