A key to responsible spending is to view that every penny counts. When this is your mindset, you are more aware of your spending habits.

Here are 6 realistic ways to help you keep track of your spending.

Track by Category and Set Limits

This a simple way to track spending for singles, couples, and young families. Tracking and setting limits per category is important to ensure that you spend more on priority needs and less on non-priorities.

Tracking by store is an alternative for those who don’t have the patience and time to account for spending in detail. For instance, do your grocery shopping in a few, select grocers. Total each purchase and adjust (or halt) spending when you’re nearing the end of your limits for the week (or month).

Set-Up a Separate Day-To-Day Transaction Account

This is a simple and practical way to track your spending. You set a weekly budget. Then, you transfer the budgeted amount at the start of each week.

Monitor your spending to reach the end of the week. This method teaches you to spend in increments and to stick to a weekly budget.

You can open different accounts for different purposes. Like, a separate account handles all bills such as rent, taxes, insurance, etc.

Track via Spreadsheets

Setting up a spreadsheet is easy. You list regular expenses like bills and budgeted amounts in one column. In the second column, you make an entry every time you make a payment for that item.

For continuing expenses like groceries and fuel, you just keep adding expenses as they come in that one cell. It automatically sums up the figures.

Spreadsheets help you get clear status of your spending since totals automatically get computed. This total enables a composite view of your finances.

Use Frugal Mobile Phone Apps

Both android and iOS phones have apps that help you track expenses. You simply download a chosen app onto your phone, then make entries as you spend money. Continuing updates make these apps more user-friendly and intuitive each time.

Mint is one example of an expense tracking app. It’s available for download on both iOS and Android platforms. Best of all, it’s free. You can use the app to consolidate and monitor your account in one platform.

It has a bill payment tracker. It also has a budgeting goal tracker and more. You may check other apps on GooglePlay or App Store.

Go Traditional with Envelopes

Track your available fund and spending per category by using different envelopes to distribute incoming money. This is a traditional yet highly effective way to prioritize your spending.

You fill the envelope that is of a high priority then move downwards in order of priority. Dispense as needed. Later, you can see what’s left in a specific fund by checking how much remains inside that particular envelope.

This is a good option for managing your transportation budget. Have a jar to put in allowances for bus rides and cabs. Once the fund is exhausted, it’s time to start walking or ride a bike to school, work, and shops.

Review Your Budget Monthly

Income and expenses may change over time. It’s important to go back and see how much money you are presently getting and how much you are spending.

This method serves a double purpose. You get an accurate view of your current financial situation and you keep track of your spending habits.

Review your monthly income and check for accuracy. Review your monthly expenses and adjust or set further limits as needed. Observe budget percentages and reprioritize when there is more spending on the non-essentials.

Indeed, keeping track of your spending is the most effective means of staying within a set budget. Plus, staying aware of how much you’re spending on things can help you develop a better sense and appreciation of your finances. Don’t get caught by surprise. And don’t stay ignorant of your financial condition. Use these ways to keep track of your spending now. Because every penny counts.

Author's Bio: 

Success Coach, Business Development Consultant, Strategist,Blogger, Traveller, Motivational Writer & Speaker