We all know that we should track our spending, but not everyone actually does. How does one develop this discipline? One AskMetafilter user pleads:

Do you have any tricks to ensure that you track your money? I would like to track what I spend and what I spend it on. I have software to do this, but I hardly ever use it. I’m looking for more of a software-independent way of thinking about my cash flow that will help me stay on top of it. This is really more of motivation thing than a “how to” or “what’s the best system” question. What are ways to help me think about my money that will give me a better handle on keeping track of where it goes.

Back when I lived paycheck-to-paycheck, I knew that if I didn’t track my spending, I would likely become overdrawn. Those huge overdraft fees provided excellent motivation. I learned to tuck every receipt into my wallet. I placed all money-related mail and paperwork in a cubbyhole on my computer desk. Most of all, I made it a habit to do my finances at least once a week.

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