My life contains a huge number of notes. I keep my salary and expenses, I use special software for this task every day. When I buy something, I get out my smartphone and record it. It became a good habit for me.
Another good habit is learning the words of the foreign language with special software. I use the spaced repetition system and the mobile application named “Anki”. I create new cards every day, I learn new words and return to old cards.
It helps me every day. In the past, I was learning the words every day without any system and plan. I wasn’t identifying what happened with my vocabulary, how it changed and how many numbers of words I learned last month? I felt that I stuck at one point and couldn’t move forward.
I had a situation like this with my money a few years ago. I was getting the salary and I was spending it all without control. I wasn’t controlling that process. I was spending all the money that I was earning. And when I started to note my expenses I began to understand the main idea.
The idea of the tracking expenses had hidden in the simple principle — don't worry about restrictions. The restrictions don't exist for you. Don't worry about it because you can spend your money as you want. Do what you want — but write it in your notebook or smartphone. Stop hoping that you could memorize it.
Our mind is a very flexible thing. The mind isn't so strong as our body and muscles. Your imagination will play with you strange games. Your memories and flashbacks would be changed and curved. Don't prop on them. Don't trust them and write it all to a special place.
Your mind would try to hide the expenses from you because you already got some pleasure from buy but you could feel some shame because of this. Don't trust in the power of your memory and record all about your expenses in your money tracking software.
You wouldn't need to restrict your expenses or control that. But after weeks or months of doing the notes, you would check it and understand — what happens with your money and your life.
Before you were like a blind man in the forest. You didn't understand where you are and how much and for what you spent in a certain case. The first advantage of this technique is understanding. You know it, therefore, you can change it.
In another way, you would be admired that fact you spend less than you can. You would be puzzled because you will have additional advantages in your financial life.
The technique like this I use in learning. I was depressed and discouraged about my progress in learning of the English words. I thought I had no progress in this activity and I was making one step towards and was making two steps back after that. It seemed I stay at one point.
But after I had seen the statistics from "Anki" about me and my vocabulary I was surprised. I had learned one thousand and five hundred cards from my main deck (it is almost 6% of all number of cards)!
It was great and perfect for me because when I had seen my real achievements I had risen. I found the motivation and the main sense of my learning.
There are simple rules:
- Take the notes about your progress or expenses and save it.
- Return to your notes regularly and analyze it.
- Get profit!
The special software would make your life easier. I use Zenmoney to keep and analyze data about my expenses (because it has web and mobile versions), but some of my friends preferred CoinKeeper. I use the Anki for everything that I need to learn (I believe alternatives exist but I like this one).