One of our favorite things about Summit’s Climbr® is how easy it is to track our spending and work with the Budget tool. Tagging our transactions by category has been a real eye-opener by showing us just how much we spend on things like groceries, fuel and pets. We sat down to review our September budget, and overall we did a great job. There were two areas where we definitely went over though. Can you guess what they were? If you guessed Groceries and Dining Out, you’re right! So we decided to dig a little deeper, and by clicking on a budget category, we were able to see all the transactions tagged for Dining Out and Groceries.
We started with dining out because we didn’t go over; we went OVER! We looked at each transaction that we had tagged for dining out, and while most of the transactions we could recall, there were a few that we had to think about. Then we remembered….vacation! We were in the upper peninsula of Michigan last month, and even though we were camping, there were a few times we drove around and stopped for breakfast or lunch or both! It’s vacation right? So we went back to those transactions and instead of tagging those as “dining out”, we decided to tag them as “vacation”. We then revisited the budget and sure enough, our dining out budget was fine. We did the same with groceries and we were able to do the same thing there.
So what’s the point of this? For us there are two big takeaways.
1. Review your budget monthly. Make sure you’re tracking your spending so there are no surprises at the end of the month or resulting changes to your savings plan. Make sure you have the correct tag on the budget items you are tracking so you get accurate results.
2. Budget all aspects of your vacation. You have to get there and you’ll need a place to stay, but what about the other vacation expenses like food and entertainment? You might have to buy some groceries when you get to your destination or you might be eating all your meals out. It’s really easy to say, “well we are on vacation” only to get home and realize you overspent. It’s fast to create a budget in Climbr, and it’s just as easy to delete it. If you know you have a trip coming up, set a budget amount and add it to Climbr that month to help you keep track of your vacation spending.
Tagging really helps you keep track of your transactions in Climbr, and the good news is, it’s easy to do. They have a lot of standard tags already built in and we have created some of our own that work well for us. So what kind of spending are you going to track? Pick a category and get started!