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Fix My Finances: Tracking your expenses

Welcome to Fix My Finances, Yahoo Finance’s personal finance series. Each episode, we take a look at one viewer’s financial state of affairs and offer advice, insight and information on a variety of issues, including how to save more, spend less and pay off lingering debt.

In this episode we spoke with Tavion, a 25-year-old truck driver living in Dallas, Texas. Tavion is looking for ways to control his spending. His main goal is to get a budget in place so he can track where his money is going, increase his savings and learn to make smarter purchases.

Tavion needs to pay more attention to his variable expenses.

Sticking to a budget

Tavion is already aware of what his fixed expenses are, such as his student loans and phone bill. He also makes the effort to put away at least $200 a month into his savings. But he needs to focus more on his variable expenses, which are usually not budgeted for.

“You must keep track of all of it, everything you spend—even on a newspaper—so you can see where you have room to cut,” said Stephanie Genkin, a certified financial planner based in New York City.

Use a budgeting app

For the next few months, Tavion should keep track of his spending by writing down everything he spends money on, including food and entertainment. If writing all his expenses down becomes too daunting, he can use an app like Mint. After a few months, Tavion will be able to see his trouble areas and decide where to cut back.

Watch the video to learn more about how Tavion can fix his finances.

Want to be a part of this new series? We are looking for people in their 20s and 30s who need a money makeover.  Apply here.