4 Tips to Build Better Spending Habits with your gini Monthly Reports
Ever wondered where your money went by the end of the month? If you’re like most young professionals in Hong Kong, you might have a hard time remembering where you went last week, much less what you spent money on. Minor transactions like Octopus purchases or grab-and-go breakfasts can add up before you’re even aware of their draining effect, leaving you with a shockingly small balance as you wait for the next paycheck.
You can improve your spending habits by first being aware of what you spend the most money on consistently. With a personal finance tracker like gini, the app automatically categorizes your spending into habits like shopping, eating out, travel, transport and more. When you sort your spending with gini, you’re not only organizing your daily transactions into categories but also providing gini with useful information to create a monthly analysis of your habits. Then at the end of the month, you can look over your entire financial summary on the reports page and adjust your habits to align with your ideal spending goals. Take a look at some money management tips below to see how you can better utilize your monthly report!
Compare and contrast
In the top section of the reports page, you get a fast summary of how this month’s expenses compare to last month’s right away. A detailed graph shows your cumulative spending within each month and overlays it on top of the previous month, revealing any spending spikes you might have.
Do you spend more at the beginning, middle or end of the month? Or is your routine more consistent day by day? A quick glance at this graph can help you determine if you should slow down your overall spending as the month draws to a close.
The next section of the reports page reveals a category breakdown of your spending. The pie chart illustrates which categories take up the most of your money at a glance. (If you’re renting an apartment in Hong Kong, there’s a good chance that rent or housing takes up a big part of this chart.)
If your shopping or travel spending proportions shock you, it might be a good time to consider cutting back on these habits and allocating the funds towards a savings or investment account instead. On the other hand, if you’ve already achieved a 50/20/30 spending and saving ratio and have the budget to spend more on yourself, you can use this category spend function to reallocate money to different forms of entertainment. For example, someone who spends too much on eating out can decide to cut down and spend more on travel instead. Use this pie chart to determine what kind of lifestyle habit gives you the most value for your money.
Reward (or reduce) your loyalty
How much are you really spending at your favorite coffee shop? How many times do you visit 7-11 or Circle K in a month? How often do you have to top up your Octopus?
The biggest spend and most visited section of the gini reports page shows you the level of activity you engage in with certain vendors. Based on these numbers, you can decide whether you should be spending less time in certain stores or apply for special membership discounts if available. Some credit cards accumulate extra points when used with certain brands as well, putting your loyalty at at advantage.
The best way to end the month is to have some money left over that can be put towards savings. How do your incomes and expenses balance out? At the end of your gini report is a cash flow chart that tells you exactly how your income compares to your expenses. The higher your green income bar is compared to the purple expense bar, the better.
Get further insight by tapping on the bars to know exactly how much you’ve made and spent each month. You can use this chart to compare income levels and expense levels month by month as well, so if you set a goal to spend less or make more every month, you can easily track your progress throughout the year.
Better financial decisions are made when you’re better informed of your monetary situation. Adjust your habits as you go, using gini’s monthly report and automatic categorization as a guide. Download the app now to get started.