Tips to track your spending

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Keeping track of where your money goes isn’t the easiest task. It does, however, seem to get a little more tricky over the holiday period when regular payments fall on different days to normal and there’s possibly more money going out than coming in. Try some of the following simple tips to help you keep track of your finances and avoid a whopping credit card bill in the New Year.

Know your limits
Most people keep a household budget, often on a simple spreadsheet. Consider creating a separate spreadsheet to cover the months of December and January. Moneysmart, the Government website for all matters money, has a simple to use budget planner to help you get a better picture of what spare cash you have. Download the budget planner now.  

Charge it
Now we’re not advocating ridiculous spending on your credit card, but you can use your card wisely and to your financial advantage. If you have a zero balance on your card, all purchases you make over the next few weeks can be tracked and paid off in full in the following month. One simple rule of thumb is, if you can’t afford it, don’t buy it. Only buy something if you have the cash to cover it; it’s a clever idea to spread the cost over a few months, but the compound interest can make it an expensive option. You can also consider paying money to your account so you have a positive balance and then only use your card to that value.
Want to compare which provider is offering the best credit card deals this Christmas? Use this great online tool

Only pay cash
Simple yet effective. Withdraw your available cash and only spend it on what you can afford.

Track your spending on the go
If you have a smartphone, many financial institutions have apps which can help you manage your money on the move. There are also many other apps which can be downloaded free of charge. Budget is one such tool, but it does cost $1.99. Find more details on which budgetary apps are available.

Got any clever money-managing ideas of your own? Share them now in the comments below.

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Written by Debbie McTaggart

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