Tracking spending is an essential part of keeping one's finances in line – but too few young people are confident that they know how much they're spending.
According to a poll commissioned by Pageonce – a mobile-phone services that lets users record their spending habits – 68 percent of 18-to-24-year-olds and 59 percent of 25-to-34-year-olds have trouble keeping tabs on how much they spend.
Overall, Pageonce says, 53 percent of Americans report being overwhelmed by the burden of tracking their spending.
Of course, the company's survey has an ulterior motive: getting consumers to sign up for its service. But the basic premise behind Pageonce – using software to keep an eye on spending – is a good one, and there are a number of other apps and programs that can make money management easy.
Mint.com is one popular option; it aggregates data (securely) from a user's various accounts and presents it in an easy-to-understand format. Best of all, it's free. An alternative is Buxfer. And Intuit's Quicken is available to those who prefer to keep track of their finances offline.
There are always spreadsheet programs like Excel, as well, for users who really like to kick it old-school.