Friday, August 5, 2016

3 Tips for Keeping Your Spending in Check

#1 - Write down your expenses
Keep a written record of what you spend and how you spend it.  Are you a cash and carry or a credit card swiper kind of person?  Keeping a written record will allow you to know where your money is going and will show you if you are a cash or credit kind of spender.  I personally am terrible about carrying cash with me but have learned what I need cash for.
Keeping a record of what you spend and how you spend it will allow you to keep track of wants verses needs.  It will show you where your priorities lie.  Not only that but it will show you where you can cut back and what you need to work on in regards to your budget.  If you are someone who has a budget but never actually follows it, tracking your expenses will help you to be more in tune with it.
#2 - Make a budget
If you aren't someone who's great with numbers or tracking your expenses, then I highly recommend that you start a budget.  If you've never had a budget before then I recommend that you start small and keep it as simple and basic as possible.  Just the basics and then add things to it as you get better at it.  If you have a lot of debt make sure you include that debt in your initial budget.  If you are overwhelmed by the debt then make sure you have your basics covered and then go from there (I will go more in detail about budgeting in the future).
#3 - Always pay cash or use a phone application for expenses that tend to be hard to keep in check
Have a coffee addiction?  Download the Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks app.  Preload it with a certain amount and then once the funds are gone, they're gone until it's time to reload again.
Have a shopping addiction?  Keep track of coupons, discounts and sales by using apps like Retail Me Not or Target's Cartwheel.
Are you eating out a lot?  Try setting aside a specific amount each month and then take it out in cash. Once that cash is gone you're done eating out.
Love buying clothes?  You can take out a few dollars every pay period and set it aside.  Then when you find a cute top or a pair of jeans or the kids need a new pair of shoes you can just grab it out and then replace it the following pay period.
It can be hard at first to do these things, but I highly recommend that you try.  Take it one step at a time and it'll get easier and easier until it becomes habit.

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