It’s one of life’s biggest mysteries: Where does all your money go? To find out, play financial detective and track your spending for a week or a month. Here’s how.
Track the plastic
Review your paper or online statements for your credit and debit cards when they arrive each month. They provide a detailed report of exactly how much you spent, as well as when and where you spent it. Or get into the habit of reviewing your transactions online every week by logging in to EasyWeb Internet banking or by using the TD mobile app.
Count the cash
Cash you grab on the go from a bank machine has a nasty habit of disappearing into thin air.
Whenever you withdraw money, keep the transaction receipt or write down the amount on a slip of paper. Whenever you spend any of that cash, make a note right away of what you bought and the cost, or keep the receipt to record it on a regular basis.
Sift through the evidence
At the end of the week, sit down with all the evidence:
On a fresh piece of paper or in a spreadsheet, make two lists of your spending: one by date and one by type of spending (groceries, parking, restaurants, etc.). The more specific you can be, the better.
You can easily download data directly from EasyWeb, into your spreadsheet or financial tracking software. Just go to your Personal Financial Summary page in EasyWeb, choose the account(s) you want information for and the software you use, and click the Download button.
Find the culprits
You may discover some costly habits you weren’t aware of. Even small purchases, like a coffee and muffin every morning, can add up to hundreds of dollars over the course of a year. Once you’ve uncovered the financial culprits that are interfering with your savings goals, you can start changing those habits. You’ll be thinking less about running out of money and more about the money you’re saving.