Jackson's New Year's Resolution
Now that Christmas has passed, it’s time to start looking forward to 2023. Like many people, I always try to set a New Year’s resolution for myself with something that I care about and want to improve on. Throughout my life, these resolutions have varied from getting good grades in school to buying myself a car in high school. Despite my efforts to have a good budget in place for myself, I don’t always do the best job of tracking all of my expenses. If I’m out with friends and buy something small to drink or buy something small from the store, I don’t always keep track of that purchase and factor it into my budget. Since it is always small purchases that I don’t track, I never thought it had much of an impact, but as time has gone on I have begun to question how much extra money I may not realize I am spending. Because of this, my New Year’s resolution for 2023 is to track all of my expenses better.
Keeping track of expenses is an essential part of gaining and maintaining financial stability and independence, but can be a difficult thing to do. If I go to the store and get groceries, it’s pretty easy for me to just copy down my receipt total into a spreadsheet and keep track of how much I have spent. It becomes more difficult if I am out doing something and end up making smaller, unexpected purchases. I find it easy to lose the receipt or simply forget I made the purchase because it was not a large amount of money. The problem is that these small purchases can add up quickly and result in being over budget without realizing it. With that being said, my New Year’s resolution for 2023 is to focus on improving the tracking of my expenses, especially these small purchases.
I track my monthly budget on a spreadsheet to make sure that I don’t overspend and that I am able to afford my essential expenses such as housing and food every month. This has been quite useful for me, but the smaller purchases that I fail to keep track of do not make it to the spreadsheet and are not factored in. In order to help myself keep track of these expenses better, I downloaded Google Sheets to my phone so that I can access my budget from both my laptop and phone. This will make it so I can instantly put in small purchases I make without having to worry about keeping track of receipts or forgetting some purchases. Having the ability to instantly input my purchases will help me track my money better as these small purchases will be recorded and factored into my monthly expenses. This will give me a far more realistic number on how much I am spending. Easier access to my budgeting spreadsheet as well as a major focus on monitoring my small purchases will help me know exactly how much money I am spending so that I can stick to my budget and make sure I can afford the things that I need.