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Your First Step to Being Better with Money

Sarah Putt, MA, OTR/L

Do you know the first (and most pivotal) step to getting your financial ducks in a row?

Track your money. 

This might seem too easy, but trust me, it is the most important step for you to focus on when wanting to start getting better with your money. 

Before we can even talk about budgeting, saving, and investing, we first need to know how much money is coming in, but also how much money is leaving every month and where it’s going. 

To do this, there are plenty of apps out there like Mint & YNAB (You Need A Budget), or even a simple spreadsheet for you to digitally track your money. You can also do it with good ole pen and paper and keep track of your money in a notebook.

Remember, personal finance is personal and needs to work for you, so it doesn’t matter how you keep track, only that you start tracking your money. 

Now, I want to point out that once you start paying attention to where your money is coming from and going to, you might have a rude awakening to how much you are actually spending every month. 

I know for me, I realized that I was spending way more than I thought on eating out and of course, on coffee. I mean seriously, stopping for a $5 coffee treat a few times a week starts adding up over time. 

Think of it like starting a weight-loss plan. Before you can figure out your goals, you first need to step on the scale and see that number face to face.  

And it might even be as uncomfortable as stepping on a scale. But knowing where your money is going and being able to track it will be pivotal for you to set up a plan to get headed in the right financial direction. 

Are you wanting to be better about money? Do you track your money? If so, what was the biggest realization you had when you first started? If you don’t track your money, what’s holding you back?

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