How to Track Personal Expenses (The Easy Way)

A 4-step guide to help you track your personal expenses and the best app to track expenses

How to track personal expenses for beginners

In last week’s article, I told the story of a friend who gave up on tracking their expenses on a daily basis after two days because he felt that it was too cumbersome.

Step 1: Create budget categories on an excel spreadsheet

You could also do this in a notebook or word document. For the purpose of this article, we’ll use a spreadsheet.

Examples of budget categories

Step 2: Record your expenses

Next, any time you make a purchase, pay a bill or spend any money, record in a notebook, notes app in your phone or word document.

Step 3: Have a monthly financial accountability meeting

At the end of month 1, have a financial accountability (or you can call it whichever fancy name you’d like) meeting with yourself to categorize all your purchases and record in the spreadsheet.

Step 4: Make your final budget

You’ll do this by averaging each of the categories. For example add how much money you spent on Groceries in month 1, 2 and 3. Then divide this total by 3. Put this figure in the final budget column.

Best application to track expenses

I have tried out many apps designed for tracking personal expenses. A lot of them were either super complicated to use or didn’t have my local currency.

Toshl Personal Finance App free version

Having said that, I’m a freebie girl. I use the free version because it gives me exactly what I was looking for in an app: the ability to record my expenses on the go!

Expense graphs as displayed on Toshl App

How to track expenses in google sheets (I use Toshl App & Google Sheets)

At the end of the month, I usually have something like this:

Monthly expenses example
Example of a budget



Your voice of reason before you blow all your money this weekend!

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