You know..I wish high school taught me how to manage my money. Like creating little spreadsheets, split into little months, that calculates my income, fixed expenses and variable expenses. Now I am imagining me key-ing in RM10 to the 'income' section of my excel file and then RM5 for food and another RM1.50 for tambang bas in the expenses section. Lol
I can imagine some people saying "You are supposed to know this on our own!"
Err..this kinda things don't cross young minds ok (unless they are brilliant). Why should it when most of the people we know don't do it and the ones that do..don't even talk about it? Here is an interesting fact: I conducted a poll on my instagram the other day, basically asking my followers if they have a spreadsheet to calculate their expenses, and almost 70% said no.
So, to those who voted 'no'..how do you track your expenses?
I assume that you were like the old me, spending whatever money until the next batch came. You know the feeling of the week before payday, where you have to eat something cheap or cancel plans with friends because you need to save money? Yeah, that feeling.
Or maybe you simply just use an app to track it. Let me tell you this - the moment something bad happens to your phone, that data is lost forever. Take it from someone who's experienced it before. It's better if you have a spreadsheet.
PERSONAL FINANCE WON'T MAKE YOU RICH
It simply makes you more aware of your spending habits. Do you know exactly how much you are spending on food each month? Do you know if its the same every month or if the number fluctuates and why? Do you know exactly how much money you spend on your Grab or Uber or Petrol? Do you know how much is your fixed expenses? How much are you spending on subscriptions like Netflix or Spotify?
Being aware is the first step towards change. For example, if I discovered that I was spending RM500 a month just on food, maybe I should eat out less or plan my meals better to stretch out my ingredients. If I'm spending RM100 per month on transportation to uni, maybe I can save that much when I simply just walk there (and probably spend that extra RM100 on more food).
Spending Tracker app
IT TAKES JUST 5 MINUTES
..to enter your daily / variable expenses. I do it on the Spending Tracker app that I've downloaded for free on my phone.
Then, at the beginning of a new month, I transfer that information to my little spreadsheet to calculate what I spent the previous month. For fixed expenses like rent, insurance etc, I spend almost the same amount every month except for my electricity and phone bill. Updating the spreadsheet takes only 15-20 minutes per month.
I have only been doing this for about 2 years..if you think about it, it's not that long. Before this, my idea of personal finance was to write what I spend on a notepad and forget about it. So, this is definitely a step forward. You can download a copy of the spreadsheet that I've created and customize it according to your life.
For those who already have something like this..what are your tips? :)
Personal Finance Spreadsheet: [Download Here]