Start Saving More Today by Cleaning up Your Spending
Each month it is the same battle. The month begins with plenty of money in the bank and ends with a budget shortfall. You are left wondering what happened to all of your money.
How to Find Spending Problems
Before you think there is a hole in the bottom of your wallet, you should do a little budget spring cleaning. The process is simple. Begin with a piece of paper, a calculator, and your most recent bank statements. Take some time to look over each debit.
Create several lists on your paper. Write down the amount you spend in a month on expenses like eating out, an extra coffee, or other items. Take note of the extras, add them up, and decide what you can live without.
The second step involves carrying a notebook and a pen around with you for a week. Write down each expense. Even if it is as small as a pack of breath mints it needs to be recorded. Even if you use the change in your pocket to pay for these extras, it is still money spent.
Subscriptions are an easy spending leak to find. While you are looking over your account statements, make sure you are aware of each recurring charge and the reason behind it. If you see several charges for entertainment streaming services, for example, make sure you are actually using the subscription.
If you have signed up for services that have similar content or shows you never watch, save money by canceling the subscription. Another thing to check for is free trials you might have signed up for that have gone beyond the cut off date.
Daily Spending Habits
Your morning ritual gets you through the day. You pull up, order your favorite coffee, then drive around, and swipe your card or pay with your phone. Imagine writing that amount you’re spending down each day for a week.
If your bill is a mere eight dollars a day, added up over a week it comes to forty dollars. That can add up to about two hundred dollars a month. In the scope of overlooked expenses, that can really add up.
Little habits matter. Each daily expense adds up to a larger amount. Consider instead brewing your favorite coffee at home and taking it along.
You might have heard that you should never shop while you are hungry. The truth is shopping without a little preparation can be just as destructive. A trip to the grocery store without a written list and a meal plan can turn into a free for all with your budget.
Regardless of the size of your household creating a meal plan helps prevent impulse buys at the store and forgotten items. Forgotten items mean another trip to the store. The more you go, the more chances you have to buy things that are extra, unneeded items.
Data Overage Charges
Monthly data charges can add up. Depending on your service provider, home and mobile internet charges can add up over time. Especially if you have children and teens on their phones streaming videos and playing games, you may be charged for extra usage and not even know it.
The solution? Do a quick check through your service provider. Make sure your limits stay within range. If you are going over, don’t stop looking until you figure out where the overages are occurring. Most providers offer the ability to trace your usage to each device.
For more tips and financial advice, reach out to our team over at Eastex Credit Union!