As we spend money we inevitably collect a messy paper trail of bills, transactions and receipts.
Consequently, keeping your receipts orderly and wallet clean is a never ending challenge.
If you're looking to organize your finances you should check out some of the online services that help keep track of your spending and receipts. The options vary per service but a combination of any program with your old school "receipt box" (or the bottom of your purse) can help you better manage your spending and keep track of where your money is going every month. For the simplest ways to get started,
- Check Out Your Bank's Options: Most of the banks that offer robust online banking programs feature a system for tracking all your accounts and spending. They usually record and break down every ATM transaction and check you send out and help you analyze how much you are spending and saving monthly. The best programs help you itemize your expenses into separate categories like food, clothing, bills, living etc.
- Track Your Online and Offline Purchases: Shoeboxed is a free online service that can automatically track and organize your online and offline purchases. When you make online purchases, you give the company your "@shoeboxed.com" e-mail address and stores will send receipts and e-mails directly to your Shoeboxed account.
- Try Sites Designed to Track Spending: Sites like Mint, Wesabe and Spending Profile offer services to track your spending and watch your budget. The programs are all varied and detailed so you can customize them to manage your money in a way that makes sense for you. Due to their popularity, these sites are constantly offering updated versions of themselves, but some people are hesitant about keeping all of their financial information in one online location.