It’s that time of year again when the W-2s start coming in the mail and you remember just how much you made last year. Usually, it is less than what we want to be making and seeing all the taxes that were taken out in the year is even more discouraging. But after all of the sighing and rubbing of your forehead you have to collect all of your statements and figure out just where your money went this year.
The first step to this long process is collecting all your monthly bills from the year. Those being credit card statements, bank records, car and insurance payments, utilities, school and property taxes, and any other documents you can round up. But don’t just find all your bills, find any statement that contributed to money you made this year, this could be stock and bond statements, new assets you acquired, or anything of value that you could sell if need be.
I recommend starting with bank statements and seeing if you gained or lost money in your accounts. Simply put if you didn’t see an increase in your bank statement you most likely were in the negative for the year. But don’t fret just yet, most people get a hefty sum of their taxes back in their tax returns meaning that you very well could have ended up in the positive this year.
For those who lost money, broke even, or gained wealth, it is important to remember that looking to see where your money was spent will give you the ability to cut out unnecessary expenses and tame your budget for 2022!
If you need a better source for tracking your expenses, there are smart phone applications available! According to NBC, the best overall free smartphone application is Mint, and the best application for beginners is Goodbudget. These are available on both Apple and Android devices.