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If you’re trying to stick to a budget, then tracking your day-to-day spending is essential.The first step is to discover exactly where your money goes, rather than wondering where it went. Here’s how to take control:

1. Write it down. It’s not high-tech, but it works. Get into the habit of jotting down each purchase in a notebook when you make it. Divide your book into categories so you can keep a running total and spot any overspending as it happens.

2. Download an app. If you prefer a smartphone to a pen, a few taps could get you started. There are plenty of apps to help monitor your spending, with some very funky automated features.

3. Track your spending directly in NetBank with MySpend, a great feature that automatically sorts your transactions into budget categories that you can tailor. CommBank customers can register for MySpend now.

Get your budget back on target

Let’s say you’ve tracked your spending for a month or two and now you know where you’ve gone wrong. Here’s how to get your budget back on target:

  • Resist the urge to splurge. If you still think your budget is spot on, it’s time to rein in that spending. Try removing the temptation to overspend — leaving your wallet at home, for example, or carrying just a limited amount of cash when you’re likely to spend most
  • Boost your income. Maybe you’ve realised your budget was too ambitious and you need to find another way to save. Rather than cutting your spending, you may be able to boost your salary by working overtime or taking another part-time job. A few hours of work each week could help get your savings moving, and make a real difference to your financial future
  • Adjust your goals. If you can’t cut your spending or increase your earnings, it’s time to reconsider your savings goals. By setting more achievable savings targets or extending your timeline, you can stay motivated and still reach your target over time
  • Get expert help. Remember, you don’t have to do it all alone. A CommBank Savings Specialist can help you find strategies to get on track for a better future. Just drop into any branch to get started.

And if your budget isn't working - don't be afraid to create a new one and think about why the original didn't work. Perhaps it was too ambitious for your financial needs at this time

How to keep track of your spending

 Back to the Academy of Saving.

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Things to know before you Can: 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.

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