I’ve never been one for saving. With my massive addiction to weekend getaways and online shopping, the money goes before I have a chance to make it to the ATM at all; and I find myself liking the “too much month at the end of your money” quotes on Instagram all too soon. This year I found myself extremely lenient with my savings, and decided if I was going to splurge, I may as well blow it up on plane tickets and experiences that will at least make me richer in a different sense. While I was only contemplating cutting off the impulsive purchases, came the day when my phone crashed- following another of bankruptcy via a new phone purchase. I realized this was getting me nowhere close to this year’s travel bucket list. Downloading a savings app, I decided to step it up a notch.
I downloaded the Spending app on my phone, though Toshl Finance is another great one I’ve used before. You can fill in your salary at the beginning of the month, and keep adding expenses as you go. Tedious task, but one that yields results in the end. You could choose to sync your cards as well, though it would involve a monthly charge of 190 bucks. I’ve used both versions, and an upgrade in this case isn’t necessary. All you need is an overview of your monthly expenditure to realize where your salary disappeared to.
The Spending app will tally your expenses with your salary, and as you upload them, you will be able to tag your spend to a particular category, such as fuel, shopping, holidays, entertainment, eating out and general expenses. You can add additional comments as you add a spend, should you want to track it that closely. At the end of the month, you’ll know where you spent the most, by using a few filters to help out. You can map it according to the highest vs lowest spend, category-wise or simply by date. You can also view these in the form of pie charts and bar graphs for a bird’s eye view. Another chart shows you a cash flow based on your expenditure vs income.
How it helped me:
Every time I opened the app to add a new spend, I could see a category-wise split of all the places I burnt my bucks. This helped me keep a tab on the impulsive shopping and the luxury getaways. When someone shows you the exact amount you’ve spent on daily commute or eating out, you automatically tend to look for ways to cut it down. A problem statement is identifiable right at the go, and you’ll spend the rest of the month working on ways to cut it down. You can track your progress through the months for a pat on the back when you’re keeping your pockets happy!
What I’m doing with the extra 20K:
It may not look like much, but it’s a great place to start. Specially if it helps you get a return ticket to another country! I’m off to celebrate my birthday somewhere new this year, and there’s no greater joy than funding a ticket with only a month’s saving!