How to Track Your Income is the first step in the Ultimate Budgeting Series, where you will learn the steps to win at budgeting. To start at the beginning of the series, click here.
A very important step in creating a budget is learning how to track your income. Without it, you can’t tell your money where to go because you don’t even know where it’s coming from.
I believe, Robin Sharma sums it up the best…
“What gets measured gets improved.”
It’s easy to cry broke when we don’t see our money coming or going. But, if you take the time to track your income, you might come to realize how blessed you are.
It can make you take a step back and say, “What the heck am I spending all this money on?”
So, to kick off this budgeting series, we’re going to talking about how to track your income. Without it, you have no direction whatsoever.
How to Track Your Income
When tracking your income, you want to include every single penny that comes to you in any given month. Here’s the type of income you should be tracking:
- Money you find on the streets
- Side hustle income
- Product Sales
- Sales from decluttering (Craigslist, Ebay, Yard sales, etc)
- Cash back rewards
- Bank Interest
- Store refunds
- Tax refunds
- Rental Income
- Child Support
- Government Assistance
- Survey Sites
Financing Your Ideal Lifestyle
So, if you’re one of those folks crying broke at the end of the month, this is an important step for you.
You might be going into debt each month. Then after tracking your income, you realize you’re actually bringing in $2,000 more than you thought you were.
This is where creating a budget will help you. You needed to figure out how much you were earning. This gives you an idea of the real lifestyle you can afford.
Now don’t get me wrong, you can live how you wanna live. If you want to travel more than average, that’s okay. Going through this process will help finance the lifestyle you WANT to live using cash.
Because the truth is – if you can’t afford it in cash, you really can’t afford it.
Using a Monthly Income Tracker
There are many ways you can track your income. I currently track my monthly income using YNAB, but I didn’t start out using digital tools.
I used to use a good old notebook and pen to track my income. It’s not important how you track your income, what’s important is that you just do it.
To help you out, I’ve created a simple monthly income tracker worksheet. You can print it up and add your income as it comes in.
This monthly income tracker is very easy to use. Considering most of you get paid with a good and steady paycheck, there’s a square for each month.
For each month there are four squares. This means you can put four different forms of income for each month.
If you receive a paycheck every week, you would use all squares for the month. If you’re only paid twice a month, you would use two squares.
If your income is more complex, I recommend grabbing a moleskine notebook like this one. You can use that or either a piece of paper to track your income as it comes in.
Other options would include using a spreadsheet or budgeting software.
And it’s really as simple as that!
Your next steps
- Download and print the monthly income tracker or use one of the other tracking methods discussed. The printables are for $5 and you can purchase using the green button above.
- Start tracking your income now and remember every cent counts.
- Total up your monthly expected income and get ready to move to the next step in the budgeting series.
Do you track your income? Why or why not?