Last year I got a little too busy. And one thing that suffered was our finances. (You can read my wrap up here). So I decided to commit to tracking our spending for the next 12 months.
Part experiment, part attempt to gain control of our money again, I’m going to trial a different money tracking App or method each month and report back.
And January it has been MoneySmart’s ‘TrackMySpend’.
Easy to use, and free!, the TrackMySpend App proved to be a handy resource on my phone for tracking purchases on the run (especially cash). All the expenses that passed through our bank account, I had to sit down and enter manually. The program is a bit clunky for this, and it took about an hour thus far this month.
It is very simple and user friendly – I downloaded it and began to use it straight away without any tutorials or guides. But with it’s simplicity comes fairly limited functionality. I’d like to be able to also track income and see how we are going against our savings goals. You would need to set up a separate system or spreadsheet for this. I’d also like to have some sort of check or reconciliation each month to make sure I’ve recorded everything (that might be the accountant in me?!).
Here’s my wrap up…..
The App: TrackMySpend
Find it here: MoneySmart Website
- Simple to use – no training required.
- You can link between devices.
- You can set weekly caps on different spending categories.
- Perfect for recording cash purchases when you are out and about.
- No functionality for recording income, goals or savings.
- Can’t link to bank feeds (you have to manually enter everything).
- Clunky to enter lots of transactions.
- It is an Australian App but could be used by peeps in different countries (though it doesn’t have the functionality to change currency etc.)
Who is it for:
- Anyone who only wants to track their spending or wants a handy App on their phone to record cash purchases when you are out and about.
January Spending in Review
So it’s almost been a month of tracking and what are my insights so far? Well without a doubt the thought of having to write down each expense is making me think a little more before I buy. That’s a good thing – provided it doesn’t get too guilt laden or constraining. This is actually a struggle for me. I can delve in to obsessive!
The aim for me is not necessarily to live on the bare minimum, but to use my money with intention and mindfulness – mindful of both my current fulfillment in life and our longer term goals.
Interestingly, a few categories have caught my eye. Our grocery bills are ridiculous! That is going to be a focus of February. And we had a blow out on pool costs with our pool cleaner gizmo dying (the costs of a pool versus it’s use will never stack up! but that’s a whole other article!). Though impressively, my hubby managed to track one down secondhand (though only 12 weeks old) for $350 – new they are $1,200. It was also interesting to see how much we had spent on fuel… almost $400 so far this month. URGH!
Suffice to say, data in hand, I’m motivated to push on to next month where I will be trialing another program – You Need A Budget.
So how was your January? Perhaps you’ve used MoneySmart before? Share your insights with us all, or join the convo on Facebook.