By the time you have your paycheck deposited, pay bills, try to keep a little for entertainment, not to mention save for retirement, there sure isn’t a whole lot to go around. While it may be tough to admit, but if you find that you not only have more money going out than coming in, or if you aren’t giving yourself a cushion for an emergency fund, paying off debt, and saving for the future, you may have a spending problem that needs an immediate fix.
Stick to a List
Whether you are going to the grocery store or even going online shopping, it’s always a good idea to stick to a list, so that way you can avoid any impulse purchases. At the grocery store it can be overwhelming going up and down each aisle, why you always hear about going in for milk or eggs and coming back either bags of groceries or even forgetting the item you went in for in the first place. If you can make a list of all items you need before leaving the house, even grouping together by store or section, you can set yourself up for success in avoiding overspending.
Use Cash Instead of Credit
While it certainly be more beneficial to use a credit card for all purchases when it comes to better fraud protection, not to mention the points or cashback rewards that can add up just by using the card, if you’re not able to handle a credit card responsibly and are starting to carryover a balance month after month, using cash instead of credit may make sense. At least this way you can spend what you have, and once it’s gone it’s gone, and using cash may even give you second thought to making a purchase when you see the cash leave your hand and go into the register.
Put Together a Budget
The best way to make sure that you have your hard-earned money allocated to what you want to spend in certain areas is to create a budget. This way you can decide how much you should be spending in monthly bills, food, gas, and spending, and making sure that you stick to those limits every month. You can even plan ahead for birthday’s, vacations, and Christmas shopping, building into your budget so it’s not such a hit to your wallet when the time comes.
Even if you put a budget together that does not get you out of the spending weeds. You actually need to start tracking purchases to not only see how much you’re spending, but where you’re spending, and if those charges are necessary or could have been avoided. By looking at last month’s credit or debit card statement you can start to go line by line and examine each charge, making sure to stay within your budget and hopefully cut down on unnecessary expenses going forward and hopefully start to see your bank account start to build up every month going forward.