Self-awareness is very important if you wish to develop yourself, because only when you know yourself truly, can you change. An important part of being self-aware is being aware of your own expenses, because that is the best way of utilizing your money.
People spend money on multiple things over a course of a month. It might include their groceries, their clothing, their entertainment subscriptions, their household rent or maybe even their driving tickets. The list can get lengthy and before you know it, you're out of money. Well, the truth is you might discover that some of those expenses were not necessary, like maybe your driving tickets or newspaper subscriptions could have been avoided. Not only does tracking your monthly expenses tell you about your behavior but it can also help you plan and follow your budget for upcoming months. This might not seem like a big saver in short term but in long term, it makes a huge difference.
Being an international student and moving to U.S. was a big cultural change for me but truth be told, adapting to this cultural change was not as difficult as adapting to the different currencies. Fact is, I often find myself struggling while spending and managing in two different currencies. But something I can say for sure is that I very well know where I'm spending my money and I'm aware of my spending habits. Not only does this enable me to spend my money in a better way but also gives me the confidence I need to set long-term goals.
Well, if you agree with the points I've made so far and are planning on tracking your expenses too, I have good news for you. Creating a personal money ledger is not as difficult as it sounds, in fact it is really simple and totally free. I personally prefer to use the Microsoft Office online spreadsheets as my expense tracker. This is because Microsoft Office online spreadsheets have multiple templates available with which you can get started in few minutes, not just that but since it is cloud based, it is accessible from most Internet enabled platforms. Google spreadsheets, NerdWallet's budget worksheets, Mint Spreadsheets and multiple other independent softwares are some of the tools I would suggest for getting started.
So, an important message I’d like to pass before ending this article is: the responsibility of tracking your expenses does not need to be started when you start earning from your job, but it should be started from the earliest possible as this is something personal and something that you need to have control over.