11 Simple Ways To Track Your Finances

Do you feel like you don't know where your money is going? Are you having difficulty saving money? Well, it's time to start tracking your finances!

It is generally easier for salaried people to track their monthly expenses, as it can be challenging for blue-collar workers who are paid on an irregular basis.

Instead of monthly salary, some blue-collar workers can be paid on an hourly basis in the form of daily or weekly wages. Since some blue-collar workers have no fixed income or other employment benefits, managing finances can become a hassle. 

However, to help blue-collar workers, we have come up with 11 simple steps to track finances. These steps are specially designed for wage-earners so that they can easily track their expenses and save some money. 

What is Financial Tracking and Why is it Important?

It is essential to keep track of your finances, no matter what kind of work you do. Not only does it help you manage your costs, but it can also help with savings. Without tracking your spending, you might find that you fall short of funds when you need them most. 

Financial tracking is an important part of any budget. By documenting every purchase you make, you can quickly identify unhealthy spending habits. Once you know what you spend money on, you can make the necessary changes to reduce them. 

Tracking your money is not about avoiding spending but rather about deciding what to spend based on your priorities. It's not easy to cut out all of your expenses, but it's worth the effort. With a budget in hand, you can see where your money is going and how you're spending it.

Why Should You Track Your Finances?

For some blue-collar workers, wages are paid on a daily or monthly basis. Because of this, you need to know where you are spending your money to be able to track it properly. While blue-collar jobs were once a cornerstone of the American economy, they now only make up about 10% of all jobs. 

Looking at the present situation, it has become necessary for blue-collar workers to track their finances. It will help you cut down expenses and save money for the future as there is no job security. It can also help you avoid scary situations where you are short on funds for necessary purchases. 

11 Simple Steps to Tracking Your Finances as a Blue-Collar Worker

It's important to record all of your expenses, whether you're using a spreadsheet on your computer, or by a trusty pen and paper. By following these steps, you'll be able to monitor your monthly spending, make adjustments and make changes that will improve your financial situation.

Step 1: Prepare a List of Income and Expenses

To begin, you should make a list of all your income and expenses. These expenses should be classified into fixed and variable. Fixed expenses are those you pay every month. Examples include your mortgage or rent, regular child care, etc. 

Variable expenses can include anything from eating out to shopping. For the variable categories, you should only list the items that fluctuate from month to month. By creating a list of your expenses, you'll be able to easily prepare a budget. 

Step 2: Daily/ Weekly/ Monthly Wage Tracking

The next thing you need to do is keep track of your wages. Some blue-collar workers get daily wages, and others get paid weekly or bi-weekly wages. To keep track of your wages, you should use a timesheet and/or spreadsheet. 

Make sure you calculate your hours of work to cross-check how much you are earning. Be sure to keep track of holiday, break, and overtime pay.

Apart from that, you should also track any deductions, tips, bonuses, commissions, holiday pay, and shift differentials. If you are working on any side projects, make sure you keep a tally on that income as well. 

Step 3: Daily Expense Tracking

While a budget may include a set amount for everything, daily expenses are often not accounted for. Along with tracking your daily income, you also need to track daily expenses. Keeping track of your daily spending can help you stick to your budget. 

Keeping track of your daily expenses can help you identify unproductive spending and save money. It will also help you determine how much you spend each month on the things that are essential to your life. By keeping a record of your daily expenses, you will be able to better understand how much you spend each day, and what you are spending your money on.

Step 4: Check Your Bills and Receipts

One of the best ways to track expenses is by keeping all of your bills and receipts in one location. Keeping these in one location allows you to reference them for budgeting purposes. 

You can also sort your bills and receipts by category. This way, you can find where you are spending most of your money in a more efficient manner. You can also use your bill and/or statement as a reference for expense tracking.

Step 5: Categorize Your Expenses

After you track your expenses and incomes, use the bills and receipts to categorize your expenses. One of the best ways to keep track of your expenses is to categorize them into different categories. Some of these categories are more important than others, but you should always start by considering what you actually need. 

For example, grouping your food bills by category can help you see what you buy every month. Traveling expenses are another great place to categorize your expenses. You can also track the fuel and repairs you need for your vehicles. 

Step 6: Set Aside Money for Savings/ Investment

Once you categorize the expenses, you should have a clearer picture of your financial situation. You can now use this information to keep a certain amount aside for savings or investment purposes. You can set aside money from your wages for savings and investments. 

Most experts recommend setting aside 10%-20% of your net income for this purpose. But the rules can vary based on your current financial situation. For example, if you're saving for retirement, you might want to set aside 5% of your wages for investing. 

So, if you are making 200$ a day, you can set $20-$40 aside each day in an investment account or ETF.

Step 7: Prepare a Monthly Budget

Now that you have a good idea of your expenses, income, and savings, it is time to prepare a monthly budget. If you are finding it difficult to afford all of your monthly bills, you may want to set a budget for your expenses, that is less than what you currently spend.

The budget will help you stay on track, and you will be able to make adjustments when necessary. After you’ve created your budget, it isn’t set in stone. If you need to make adjustments, you can do so as needed. 

Step 8: Track As You Go

To make sure your finances are on track, you should set a regular rhythm for tracking your expenses. At the end of every day/every other day/every week, you should write down all of your expenses and income. This will ensure that you’re staying on track with your budget. 

By tracking your expenses, you'll be able to pinpoint areas in which you may need to cut back. 

Step 9: Use a Budget Tracking App

If you're trying to manage your finances, using a budget tracking app is an excellent way to keep track of your expenses. These apps analyze your bank account and spending data to help you create a budget. 

You can set monthly goals and divide your expenses into fixed, variable, and recurring. You can use a budget tracking app to monitor your spending and make informed decisions. 

Step 10: Identify Room for Change

This is the most important step of tracking your finances. In order to utilize your money wisely, you need to analyze your income and expenses, and identify where you can make improvements. 

Set a date every month where you check all the monthly finances. Use your budgeting app to check how much you’re spending, and where you’re spending your money. Now, you need to look for places where you could be saving money. For example, if you are eating out a lot, try to cook meals at home or opt for a meal prep service to save money.

Step 11: Implement Your Adjustments

After you’ve set a plan in motion to cut down on spending, you need to implement these changes. Keep track of them and ensure that these changes are helping your overall budget.

We hope that these tips will help you to spend less, and save more. Follow them closely, and make sure you stay consistent if you want your bank account to thank you.