For the month of June, we'll be looking at what we can do to be financially fit!
If you use your debit card for everything, log into your account at the end of every day or week, and tally up your expenses. Use an Excel workbook or an old-fashioned notebook. Devise your most important categories: dining out, groceries, entertainment, gas, .... You might even get more specific. Instead of 'dining out' you might have coffee, lunch, dinner.
If you use the debit card, also consider signing up for Mint.com. You can use this free resource and link your bank account to it. This site is great for budgeting because it is designed to help you figure out exactly where your money is going. Take about 30 minutes to an hour to set it up and figure out how it works and it will show you (in pretty graphs and pie charts) where your money is going.
You can go old school, get a small pocket-sized notebook and write your expenses in it as you make them. If you don't want to go quite that old school, you can write down your expenses using the memo function on your phone. This is the best way to go if you still make a lot of cash purchases.
Finding out exactly where your money goes does take a bit of effort but this is the most accurate way of tracking your expenses. If you don't, you'll be relying on vague estimates that may or may not be correct and when it comes to money and budgeting, you need clarity and facts.