Tuesday, January 15, 2013
TRACK YOUR SPENDING!
I have never been a big fan of trying to keep a strict budget; my strategy when I really needed to save was always just to NEVER spend money unless I absolutely had to. Then I would track my spending and look back at the past month to see if there were any areas I feel had some fat to trim.
I still feel like this is the best strategy for me personally. Some people may be more comfortable with a strict budget, but not me. I am also self employed so I don't get the exact same amount of money at regular intervals like some people which makes it hard to set aside certain amounts or even percentages at a regular basis.
I just recently had a much better spreadsheet constructed for tracking my finances, and it helps alot. Just knowing that after you spend any money you have to go home and enter it in the spreadsheet is a great psychological help with avoiding spending it in the first place, because you can't hide it from yourself.
If you are just spending money haphazardly without tracking it, a Mcdonald's meal here and there doesn't seem like much. But when you are tracking it and see that you have spent $1000 in the past year on fast food meals, it is easier to skip next time you get the urge to be lazy and not cook for yourself.
Not only that, but tracking income and spending will show your progress, which is very motivating. Day to day changes are usually small and can go unnoticed, but when you can look back over the past few months or years, you can see just far you have come.
So track it!
- The Money Monk