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How to understand your spending

How to understand your spending

If you’ve ever looked at your bank account and had absolutely no idea where your money has gone, you’re not alone. 

Here are three easy steps to help you regain control of your spending.

Step 1: Investigate

You need to work out how much you’re spending each month and on what. Consider using an app, a Budget Planner or a spreadsheet to give this step some structure.

Pick an average month and make a note of everything you spend – think household expenses (for example rent, bills and groceries) and lifestyle expenses (for example gym membership, going out and clothes). Include any money you set aside for savings too.

Step 2: Categorise spending

Having figured out where your money goes, you can now categorise your spending. This helps you identify which of your spending habits you can tweak, entirely change or ditch altogether.

Some ideas for categorisation:

  • Food
  • Entertainment/ going out
  • Fitness
  • Bills
  • Childcare
  • Travel
  • Transport.

Total how much you’re spending in each category. Most people find this eye-opening and can quickly see where they can cut back. This exercise will also help you to prioritise your spending.

Spend Tracker in the CommBank app automatically categorises your transactions so you know exactly where your money is going.

Step 3: Know what and when

Knowledge is key and it’s essential you know exactly what’s happening with your money so you can make the best financial decisions for you. With Transaction Notifications you’ll instantly be notified every time you pay (or are charged) for something using your CommBank debit and credit cardNote this feature isn't currently available if you have an additional credit cardholder.

Next up: How to manage your bills and automate payments

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.