Have you ever wondered, at the end of the month, where all of your money went? It’s not uncommon but it’s truly a terrible feeling when you have nothing left to show for all of the hours you’ve put in at work. It’s high time for you to get your finances in order so you can get a really good understanding of where your money goes when you’re not looking.
Understanding Where Your Money Goes
The idea of not knowing where your money goes is a common one these days. With debit cards being king, it is super easy to swipe at the gas pump, at the grocery store, and at your favorite food joint. Then, without a glance, you’ve withdrawn an easy $100 without noticing.
How do you get a hold of your situation? Try your best to keep track by spending a little time with your recent transactions list. As horrifying as it might be at first, this is the fast track way to see where your money is heading. Simply log into your primary account and scroll down your transactions list. Some institutions allow you to download a PDF file. Do this if it’s more convenient for you; otherwise, jot down recurring expenditures in a Word or Excel sheet. Mortgage, utilities, and car payments should all have a place on your list in addition to any java habits you might have (just saying). This is the best way for you to be able to see money coming in and, unfortunately, also going out. This is the first step toward understanding where your money is spent.
Learn to Budget
The next big step that you’ll need to take(drum roll please) is learning to budget. When you have difficulties accounting for your money and you run tight each and every month, you need to budget. Obviously you’ll need a roof over your head but is that roof out of your price range? You’ll need some sort of transportation but is it paid off or are you financing or, worse yet, leasing? These are all things that you’ll have to consider if you want to be able to account for all of your hard-earned income.
Cutting Out Frivolous Spending
As hard as this might be to begin with, cutting out frivolous spending will help you in the long run. And yes, frivolous spending does include trips to Dunkin or Starbucks for coffee every day. Just buy a coffee maker already.
Another way to save money is by cutting back on any vices in your life. Gambling on lotto, cigarette smoking, and excessive use of alcohol can put a real dent in your income. If you spend a little more than you’re willing to admit on adult beverages, it might be time to seek help. You’ll be able to get the assistance you need at a professional alcohol treatment Southern California (or whatever is local to you) facility, so you can live without the dependency of alcohol. This way, you can kick the habit and save money long term.
Take Small Steps
No one is asking you to be a superhero here but, in order to get your finances in order, you’re going to have to try to improve matters by taking small steps. Cut back to a single cup of coffee a day from your favorite place or second guess that impulse buy at the grocery store. When you can pinpoint where each and every dollar you earn goes, you can decide where you need to make adjustments so that you can have some money left over at the end of the month.
Savings? How’s this possible? Go for it, it will feel weird at first but once you get used to having money left in your account, you might even feel a sense of joy from it also. Crack down on your finances, so you don’t have to live paycheck to paycheck.