Stop Letting Money Leak Out of Your Pockets
Do you consistently maintain a budget? Do you know how much money comes in each month and how much goes out? It’s very easy to lose track of your finances. Here are a few tips to help you keep tabs on all those hard-earned Benjamins.
Track Your Spending
You probably have some idea where you spend your money each month, but without accounting for each and every dollar you might find money leaking out of your wallet. Use software tracking tools or an old-fashioned pen and paper to log your expenses. Write down every transaction no matter how big or small it may seem. This is the best way to come up with a full proof budget and the easiest way to see if you are frivolously wasting money each month. You never know what you might discover. Many British consumers are unnecessarily paying for Payment Protection Insurance (PPI). Big banks snuck the details of this insurance into loan and credit card applications and many individuals are currently required to hand over their hard earned money for insurance from which they will never benefit. If you think you might be the victim of this practice you’ll need to file paperwork to reclaim your money and canary claims can help.
After tracking your money you might decide to cook more meals at home and avoid the shopping mall. Some expenses are easier to cut then others. Believe it or not utilities like phone bills, electricity and natural gas should be first on your list to review. Use your loyalty with a cell phone provider to ask for a discount and call your utility providers and ask if there is a cheaper rate for gas or electricity if you lock in for a specified amount of time.
Adjust Your Spending
Most of us have some type of shopping vice. Do you crave designer shoes, love expensive cappuccinos or spend an inordinate amount of time eating out with friends every week? Without properly tracking your expenses you are probably underestimating just how much you spend. Setting a budget doesn’t mean you have to deprive yourself of all fun. It just means you need to dial back a bit. Cut back your fine dining expenses slowly at first. Eat at home one extra day per week, order one last glass of wine or search for the cheapest entree on the menu. You are more likely to stick with your budget if you don’t take drastic measures.
Ask Your Friends To Keep You Accountable
Some friendships are costly than others. If your friends spend a lot of money every time you are together then you might need to look for more budget conscious individuals to pal around with throughout the week. True friends will understand that you need to stop spending money unnecessarily. Tell them you have a goal to save money and ask them to keep you accountable when you are out shopping or dining. Tell them to stop you if you start spending too much.
Track Unexpected Expenses
Keep an eye on irregular expenses like gifts and repairs. You may think your car doesn’t cost that much money to maintain, but after watching your expenses over a six month period you may realize it’s often in the shop or in need of repairs. Do you tend to overspend on birthday and Christmas gifts? I bet it doesn’t seem like you spend a lot of money in this category, but make certain to track gifts for all of your friends and family members. You may be surprised by how much money is spent.
If you want to solidify your finances, start by tracking your outgoing expenses. You work hard for your money so don’t let it slip away unknowingly. Keep a watchful eye on it and find easy ways to save more each month.
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