Personal Budgeting, Personal Spending

Personal Budgeting, Personal Spending

It's easy to mindlessly spend right now—here's the first step to take to avoid it

It's easy to mindlessly spend right now—here's the first step to take to avoid it. (via @CNBCMakeIt)

4/10/2020 4:45:00 AM

It's easy to mindlessly spend right now—here's the first step to take to avoid it. (via CNBCMakeIt)

Tracking your spending during this time is key to understanding your new financial norm. That will put you on stronger financial footing in the weeks and months ahead.

is posting a new financial task to tackle each day for a month. These are all meant to be simple, time-sensitive activities to take your mind off of the news for a moment and, hopefully, put you on sturdier financial footing. This is day two of 30.Financial experts often advise tracking your spending and saving so that you know exactly where your money is going. That's partly because the stress of the current moment paired with the ease of buying things online can mean

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spending money you don't intend to spend.Today, take 15 to 20 minutes to set up a system to catalog where your money goes each day and week.If you haven't completed yesterday's task, start there: Review how your spending has changed over the past few weeks and if it's still in line with your goals.

Then, commit to a method to track your spending going forward. There are a number of ways to do this, but you should pick the one that's easiest for you. Here are a few examples:Use an app likeCreate a Google or Excel spreadsheetUse a pre-made Excel sheet from a company like

TillerKeep track in a notebook or bullet journal"Setting up a system to track your spending and savings is a powerful act of self-care during the current crisis," Andrea Ferrero, co-founder of Pockets Change, a personal finance website, tells

CNBC Make It. "I've been a financial educator for over a decade and one of the best pieces of advice I've heard came from a high schooler who said, 'If we don't create a plan for our money, someone else will.'"Once you start tracking, you'll get a sense of how you are acclimating to new life, and financial, circumstances, Lindsay Sacknoff, head of consumer deposits, products and payments at TD Bank, tells CNBC Make It.

"Keeping tabs on cash flow during this time is key to understanding your new financial norm," says Sacknoff. "More time at home requires budgeting adjustments to asses where money needs to go and where it can be cut out."Review your spending

Once you've decided on the system you'll use to track your spending, stick to it. Whenever you purchase something, write down how much you spent and what you spent it on. You can also set up alerts each time your credit or debit card is charged, which can help you catch recurring expenses and subscriptions you may have forgotten about (not to mention fraud). You can do this via your card issuer's app or website, under account alerts.

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