It’s often easier for us to bury our heads in the sand than face up to how much money we’re spending and what we’re spending it on. We might want to avoid feeling guilty about purchases we regret or just not want to take the extra step of checking our bank balances.

The trouble with neglecting to look at our spending is that this can take an eventual toll on our financial wellbeing. We might rack up credit card debt unknowingly or spend money we had set aside for the bills we need to pay on the items we think we can afford in the moment.

But when we keep track of our spending, we’re more likely to stay in control of it. There are simple ways to do this, you can even start with tools available in the CommBank app.

Check your balance

One of the easiest ways to overspend or go into overdraw is simply forgetting to check your balance. But if you create a regular habit of it, you’re more likely to spend within your means. You can turn on Simple Balance in the CommBank app to see it when you log on.

See what you're spending

It can be easy to forget what you’ve spent money on or just not realise how much you spend on, let’s say, shopping or entertainment each month.

But by regularly reviewing your transaction history, you can become more aware of where your money is going and change your habits if you need to. If you’re with CommBank, use Spend Tracker to see exactly where your money is going across different categories each month.  

Turn on transaction notifications

In our tap-and-go society, it’s easy to spend mindlessly. You can simply tap your card or phone to make a payment and direct debits and subscriptions can leave your account without you noticing.

While research says the physical act of handing over money can make you more aware of spending, Transaction Notifications can help with that by alerting you each time you spend and get paid. You can set these up in your app settings if you’re with CommBank to see what difference it makes. 

Stay on top of your cashflow

While we know living within your means is about spending less than you earn, we don’t always have a sense of what that looks like over time. You can get a snapshot in the app with Cash Flow View, which shows your income, spending and saving habits every month.

If you use a credit card for your every day spending, you might need to run the numbers to check you are spending less than you earn. Try using our Budget Planner to do this.

Manage your credit card spend

If you’re often tempted to spend money you don’t have on your credit card, you might want to set yourself some limits. Of course, you can leave your credit card at home or just take cash with you when you think you might overspend. But if you’re with CommBank there are other options too.

You can set a limit to how much you can spend in one transaction, so when you make a purchase above the amount we’ll alert you and your card will be declined. Or you can set a spending cap, so you’re unable to spend any more on your card once you reach it. Or you can lock contactless card payments if you find it all too easy to tap and go, or block ATM cash advances to avoid the fee.

Things you should know

This article is intended to provide general information of an educational nature only. It does not have regard to the financial situation or needs of any reader and must not be relied upon as financial product advice. Some terms and conditions apply to our financial wellbeing features – please see for details.