Personal Finance

Better Finances for a Better You

Topic: "Expense Tracking"

← Curating the web to find the most interesting and helpful information about your money.

8 Tips to vacation on a budget from Chase

  1. Start with a vacation budget
  2. Plan ahead of time
  3. Choose budget-friendly vacation destinations
  4. Choose budget-friendly accommodations
  5. Meet people
  6. Do your own driving
  7. Consider inexpensive activities
  8. Save for vacations over time
Without a budget, it can be easy to overspend on a vacation →

Budgeting

10 Expenses Most Likely To Drain Your Checking Account Each Month by Ashley Donohoe

  1. Unnecessary Groceries
  2. Fake Emergencies
  3. Restaurant Trips
  4. Costly Vacation Plans
  5. Expensive Plans and Subscriptions
  6. Retail Therapy and Impulse Purchases
  7. Lavish Nights Out
  8. “Latest and Greatest” Purchases
  9. Pampering Services
  10. Checking Account Fees
Watch out for these 10 expenses that are likely to drain your checking account →

Budgeting

The average vacation for one person in the U.S. costs about $1,919 per week. A vacation for two people will typically cost around $3,838 per week.

Use our free vacation goal calculator to start planning for your next holiday →

Serious stuff

Tipping requests are on the rise. Businesses that never seemed to ask for a tip, like fast food joints, are now asking for one. Here's how to deal with unexpected requests and more.

What is the new etiquette for tipping? from Life Kit →

Did you know?

Housing is the largest average cost at $2,025 per month, making up 33% of typical spending, according to the most recent Consumer Expenditure Survey from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Neontra auto-categorizes your all transactions by essential, non-essential, debt payments and saving contributions so you can see what percentage of your expenses are going to housing →

Infographic of the week

Mapped: Inflation Projections by Country, in 2024

While inflation looks to be easing, there remains the risk of a second wave of price pressures driven by geopolitical conflicts and supply disruptions in the Red Sea. Adding to this, a stronger than expected labor market could drive consumer demand, pushing up higher prices. This graphic shows 2024 inflation projections around the world, based on forecasts from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Mapped: Inflation Projections by Country, in 2024 Inflation Projections, by Country in 2024 from the Visual Capitalist →

Did you know?

Americans spend $779 on food per month, with almost two-thirds being spent on groceries ($475) and the rest on eating out ($303), according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Consumer Expenditure Survey.

American Households' Average Monthly Expenses →

Budgeting

If you’re looking to create a personal budget, start with these six steps

  1. Calculate your net income
  2. Track your spending
  3. Set realistic goals
  4. Make a plan
  5. Adjust your spending to stay on budget
  6. Review your budget regularly
Bank of America - Better Money Habits →

Budgeting

7 tips to save money on family expenses from Discover

  • Focus on food costs
  • Keep birthdays simple
  • Give secondhand a chance
  • Choose frugal fun
  • Plan ahead for the holidays
  • Hack your housing costs
  • Talk budgeting and saving with your kids
Get the whole family in a savings mindset with these tips →

Saving

Save money on streaming services. NPR TV critic and media analyst Eric Deggans shares a streaming strategy to help you get the most bang for your buck.

NPR Life Kit Podcast: Refresh your budget with these simple finance tips →

Budgeting

Tips to stay within your budget

  • Save all of your invoices and receipts.
  • Try to keep your expenditures inside the parameters of your budget.
  • Any time there are changes, such a wage rise or an increase in bills, update your budget.
  • At the conclusion of each month, do a comparison between your actual spending and your budget.

Review your spending plan from time to time. If you find that your actual expenditure frequently deviates from your budget, update your estimates to be more realistic.

More Ways to Stick to your Budget and Jump Start your Savings →

Word of the week

ATM

An "automated teller machine," or (ATM) is a machine that lets bank customers perform basic transactions, such as deposits and withdrawals. They are usually located in a wall outside of a bank or shop. Be careful of ATM fees.

Do you know how much you are paying in ATM fees? →

Budgeting

Four Tips For Budgeting In The Modern World from Liz Frazier @Forbes

  • Don’t be scared of change
  • RE-Categorize your spending
  • Cut the right expenses
  • Budgeting is a practice
Learn more details from Liz Frazier a Fee-Only Certified Financial Planner, Author & FinLit Advocate →

Word of the week

Cash Flow

Your personal cash flow is your income minus your expenses over a certain period of time — typically a month. To analyze your personal cash flow take your monthly income after taxes and subtract all your monthly outflows - items like rent, mortgage, credit card payments and other expenses. That number tells you if you’re living within your means.

Balancing lifestyle costs with regular saving and investing is the toughest part of personal finance →

Did you know?

At one time, Queen Elizabeth II appeared on at least 33 different currencies, more than any other monarch, an achievement noted by Guinness World Records.

Neontra creates a 360° view of all your $CAD, $USD, £GBP, €EUR and ¥YEN financial activities →

Budgeting

Finding the balance between your needs, wants and savings can be difficult. Forbes highlights seven simple steps for creating and managing a successful monthly budget.

How To Budget In 7 Simple Steps →

Saving

The new year is a great time to update your budget, say financial experts. Here's what you can do to curb your spending, save for emergencies and keep your investments on track.

Saving NPR Life Kit Podcast: Refresh your budget with these simple finance tips →

Did you know?

A 2023 survey from Bankrate found 47% of U.S. adults have unused gift cards, vouchers, or store credits. The average American is sitting on $175, that's up from $116 last year.

You can track all your holiday gift cards with Neontra in our My Money section →

Word of the week

Savings Ratio

This ratio indicates how much a person should save for their future objectives. Savings / Gross Income is the savings ratio. Gross income is the total of all earnings, including bonuses, dividends, interest, royalties, rent, and money received from a business or profession.

Neontra automatically calculates your personal savings, expenses and debt ratios →

Infographic of the week

How Americans of Different Generations Spent Their Money in 2021

Most consumer spending falls into the larger categories of food, housing, transportation, healthcare, and other goods and services.

How Americans of Different Generations Spent Their Money in 2021 View the interactive version of this chart highlighting how different generations spend money →

Did you know?

According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), the average American planned to spend $826 in 2022 on Christmas gifts, food, and decorations. Of that $826 dollars, around $500 are spent on gifts for family members.

Budget for all your holiday spending and ensure don't spend too much →

Serious stuff

The biggest money mistakes that could change your future — and how to get ahead of them right now

Sophie Kiderlin of CNBC make it: Avoiding the most common financial mistakes →

Budgeting

Trying to get your spending under control? Just like with dieting, it can help to add some structure by following a plan. There are just about as many approaches to handling your daily finances as there are to counting calories.

The WSJ Tested 5 of the Best Budgeting Methods. Here’s what they found →

Budgeting

The zero-based budget Sometimes called a zero-sum budget, is when your total income, minus your expenses, equals zero.

Zero-based budgeting: What it is and how it can help you hit your money goals →

Did you know?

Making a penny these days costs more than one penny. That's right, the U.S. Mint estimates that the cost of each coin is about 1.7 cents.

Follow every penny, quarter and dollar you spend with our cashflow analysis →

Word of the week

60/40 Budget

Richard Jenkins, financial journalist and author of A Simpler Way to Save: the 60% Solution advocates: 60% of your income goes to fixed expenses: - Housing - Utilities - Groceries - Transportation 10% to retirement savings 10% to long-term savings 10% to short-term savings 10% “fun money” for activities, trips, or other infrequent splurges

How to Make A Budget: The 60% Solution Explained →

Saving

8 Money-Saving Tips, According to Wirecutter’s Expert Deal Hunters:

  1. Track prices
  2. Be persistent
  3. Search for coupon codes
  4. Maximize credit card perks
  5. Sign up for shopping newsletters
  6. Ditch rarely used memberships and subscription services
  7. Keep track of where your money is going
  8. Invoke the power of price-matching policies
Every day, the Wirecutter Deals team scours the internet for legit discounts on Wirecutter’s expert-recommended picks →

Budgeting

How to succeed at budgeting - A guide to 4 budget planning methods:

  1. 60% solution – keep essential expenses around 60 per cent to avoid overspending.
  2. Zero-sum budgeting – subtract expenses from your pay, and you should end up with zero.
  3. Reverse budgeting – put the focus on savings (you pay yourself first).
  4. The 50/30/20 rule – probably one of the most popular budget methods.
The secret to successful budget planning is finding the right method that works for you →

Did you know?

U.S. Cash in paper form is not "paper". American paper money is made of 75% cotton and 25% linen, which does not technically qualify as paper.

Learn how to start monitoring all your cash with Neontra →

Neontra on TikTok

We believe financial planning should be simple, engaging and understandable for everyone. View Neontra on TikTok where we help simplify the complex world of personal finance.

Join 339k viewers of this Neontra TikTok →

Did you know?

The first ATM (automatic teller machine) was built and installed in London in 1967 by British bank Barclays and it didn't charge a fee...

Track all your ATM fees along with other bank changes in one place →

Did you know?

The Bank of England issued a £1,000,000 note in 1948 as a temporary measure during the Marshall Plan's postwar rebuilding. This remains the largest banknote ever issued by the Bank of England.

Track your all your $CAD, $USD, £GBP, €EUR and ¥YEN in one place with Neontra →

Budgeting

Understanding Bank Fees

Do you know all these bank fees?

  • The number of free monthly withdrawals or transactions on your account
  • Your Monthly fee
  • Minimum account balance fee
  • Bill payment fee
  • Transfer fee
  • Late payment fees
  • Overdraft fee
  • NSF fee
  • ATM fee
  • ATM network fee
  • ATM non-system machine fee
Banking fees add up. Make sure you track them and have the best account plan for your needs →

Did you know?

The word cash was originally used to describe the type of round bronze coins with square holes commonly used in the Tang Dynasty, called kai-yuans.

Track your kai-yuans and analyze your cash flow →

Budgeting

Building a budget helps you manage how you spend your money. When you control your spending, it’s much easier to achieve your financial goals, whether that is to save, pay off debts or simply live within your means.

Building a Budget: Helpful Tips for Students →

Budgeting

What is envelope budgeting?

On a piece of paper, make a list of your expenditure categories. Include typical necessities like food, clothing, personal care products, pet care, and family outings.

  • Set aside a specific sum of money for each area
  • Each category's name should be written on its own envelope
  • Use only the money in each envelope for the corresponding category
  • Bring your groceries envelope to the grocery store and your entertainment envelope to the movie theatre
  • Once the category envelope is empty stop spending
Learn more details on how envelope budgeting method may work for you →

Word of the week

Essential Expenses

These are expenses that are necessary. Another way to identify these expenses is to determine if they are 'needs' rather than 'wants'. Essential expenses might include: - Rent/Mortgage - Groceries - Utilities - Medical Expenses Unlike, restaurants, and entertainment, that are 'wants' or non-essential expenses and do not need to be made.

Follow every dollar - Track and analyze your non-essential expenses →

Budgeting

What Is Kakeibo? Kakeibo, pronounced “kah-keh-boh,” translates as “household financial ledger.” Invented in 1904 by a woman named Hani Motoko (notable for being Japan’s first female journalist), kakeibo is a simple, no-frills approach to managing your finances.

‘Kakeibo’: The Japanese method of saving money →

Budgeting

Non-essential costs are probably getting in the way of your financial goals. - Take-out food - Restaurants - Alcohol - Uber/Lyft instead of public transportation - Subscriptions Do you know how much you spent in the last three months?

Neontra auto-categorizes your expenses so you can quickly see where your money is going →

Word of the week

Non-Essential Expenses

These are expenses that are not necessary. Another way to identify these expenses is to determine if they are 'wants' rather than 'needs'. Non-essential expenses might consist of: - Coffee - Entertainment - Subscription services (Netflix, Disney+, etc.) - Meal delivery services (Uber Eats, DoorDash, etc.) These are unlike rent, mortgage, and food which are 'needs' or expenses that must be met.

Follow every dollar - Track and analyze your non-essential expenses →

Infographic of the week

The Most Expensive Starbucks Items in the World

Your daily coffee habit is probably costing you a lot more than you think. What if you skipped buying two coffees a week and invested that money?

The Most Expensive Starbucks Items in the World The Price of (non-essential) Big Bucks Starbucks items in USD →

Saving

"A $5,700 wedding dress for $64. Expensive baby items for a fraction of the price. Construction materials to renovate a home."

Saving Podcast: Save money and the planet: How thrifting can help combat inflation →

Infographic of the week

How Much Should You Tip In Each Country?

How much should you tip when traveling abroad? The answer can vary wildly depending on the country and what type of service you are using.

How Much Should You Tip In Each Country? Servers and bartenders depend on tips to supplement wages →

Saving

An epic standard in overpromising and underdelivering was reached when the big banks named their savings accounts.

Saving Check your big bank savings account - you could be making ‘0.000 percent’ interest →

Did you know?

The average price for electricity in Canada is around 17.4¢/kWh. If your apartment or house is averagely consuming around 1000kWh, your electric bill will be roughly $174. The average cost of utilities in Canada is $304.75 per month.

Learn how your spending compares to national averages with our NEOs →

Did you know?

Asking rents in Canada increased 9.7% annually to an average of $1,984 in February. The annual rate of rent inflation has been moderating since reaching a high of 12.4% in November 2022.

Learn how much rent inflation has grown in your neighbourhood →

Budgeting

We believe financial planning should be simple, engaging and understandable for everyone.

Why is budgeting an essential personal finance tool →

← Curating the web to find the most interesting and helpful information about your money.