I have always said that I don’t enjoy working with numbers, unless the numbers came with a dollar sign! Given the state of my academic results when it came to number work, it’s no surprise that I fostered a rather unhealthy relationship when it came to numbers in my adulthood!
I have often heard people say, “Numbers tell the whole story…” Being the anti-number person I would always kick up a fuss about how there is always more to what’s going on beyond the numbers. Now, I would like to enhance the statement by saying, “Number’s do not tell the whole story, but they sure give you a good idea on what’s really going on!” The fundamental law to being wealthy, is, "To spend less than you earn!" If you don't know where you stand as far as this law is concerned, you are in big trouble!
Your personal income and expenditure can tell you a whole lot about the real you, over the sugar coated image of yourself you want people to see. It’s like how you hear or see stories of people who seem to be living the high life, then later find out how they went bankrupt or how they are now living like paupers begging for handouts. Sometimes, we feed into the lie, that keeping records of your money is only necessary when you have a lot of it, or very little of it. What that means, is that some of us in the middle class are destined for doom if we doesn’t pay attention to our finances.
My “Aha” moment came during one of those depressive states of being broke I spoke about in Money Matters 001 and Money Matters 002. I couldn’t understand how it was that I was working, and getting paid, but often found myself broke. Was it that I was spendthrift? I certainly don’t have a closet of designer clothes, shoes or bags. Was it that I liked to live the high life and often ate and drank out? Was it that I was paying fees and educating other people’s children? The answer to all those were No, no, and no! This really got me wondering so much so, that I decided I needed to figure out this mystery. As I delved deeper into understanding my relationship with money, I discovered that the only sure way of being wealthy, was to know and understand the basics. Take on an attitude of having an abundant money mindset, save money, and today, we discuss tracking money.
Several celebrities when asked how they ended up bankrupt, often put the blame on other people. The truth is, not only did they trust they wrong people, they themselves are more to blame that anyone else. The reason they got broke is because they did not track their income and expenses THEMSELVES. The buck stops with you! It all seems so difficult you may think, but I think we can agree that it’s better to do the difficult or annoying thing than be broke!
Here are my top 3 easy ways to track your money!
1) Paper and Pen!
Despite the cutting edge technology that’s out there on the market, some people find it easier to get down to basics for things that really matter! Getting a small notebook that you can jot in money in and money out is by far a lot better than guessing what where and how when it comes to your money! The downside to this one, is if you lose the book, those are all your records gone. Not to mention it may find itself in the hands of the worst kind of people, who can exploit you for the information they have.
2) Installing a money/expenses tracker App
I like most people, often carry my phone EVERYWHERE! Yes, I agree it’s unhealthy to have such an attachment to a gadget that is probably slowly killing me, but my reality is, my phone is what keeps me connected to all the balls I am juggling. Knowing this is likely to be true for most of us, your phone is a great way to track your income and expenses as you can record each transaction as soon as it happens. There are paid and free versions of money trackers. My recommendation is to take on an app that allows you keep your records on a cloud, an app that will maintain the records properly even if you switch from Android to IOS etc. In summary, don’t skimp if you choose to go this direction.
Tracking your income and expenditure on a spreadsheet shows another level of commitment to your finances. Most spreadsheets, once information has been inputted correctly, will give you many tricks and options in terms of showing your money flow in charts, tables and many different exciting presentation formats. If you choose to go this route, I recommend you consider having this spreadsheet on your google drive or your cloud of choice, to ensure that your data remains even if your computer is stolen or if it crashes.
When you track your money DAILY, you can identify where you are “wasting” money (unnecessary number of clothes and shoes, décor that sits in your closet, copious amounts of junk food etc) and where there is opportunity to increase your income! With a clear visual presentation of your money flows, you can now make more informed decisions of how to increase your bottom line! That is the goal people…..a nice fat bottom line!
I believe that money invested into your wellness is always money well spent. Do what you need to do to ensure that you are taking care of your body, mind and soul. For some people, this means taking some time out to enjoy a relaxing massage. If you are based in Nairobi, Tumi Wellness offers premium, professional home spa services, that give you the R&R that you need! To find out more about our services, make sure to check out our Tumi Wellness services page!