To affectively use your budget you need to track what you spend. You might be thinking "that is what my budget is for" and you are right but the information has to come from some place.
Keep your receipts
- easier said then done, right! I usually keep my receipts in my wallet and then pull them out when I budget. I ask my husband to try and keep his receipts as well but sometimes I never get them. Things happen I lose them, the store doesn't give me one, or a number of other things. Below are some other ways to use as well to help.
Look at your bank and credit card statements
- I also look at my statements throughout the month online. This way I can stay on track and I also make sure that nothing fraudulent is going on in my accounts.
Write it down
- if they don't give me a receipt I try and write it down on another receipt or at least where I spent money so I know what to look for on one of my statements.
Each month you will find something that you have forgotten to put into the budget. Figure out what it is and see if there is a way to stop it from happening next month.
Lets say that your problem is when you spend cash, this was something I ran into, what I did was I took the money out of one of my categories and then when I actually spent it I didn't worry about the receipt. It is really hard to keep track of $.50 for this or $2 for that.
Sometimes you just can't help that you can't find a receipt but don't feel bad try again next month and remember if you go over your budget it happens. You probably would have spent a lot more if you didn't budget so look at the big picture, you are getting better.