It’s not how much money you earn that will make you rich; rather it is your spending habits. How aware are you of what you spend on a daily basis? Do you ever think you have a certain amount of money in your account and then realize that you have a lot less?
Noticing how much you spend can be the first step to learning how to manage your money better.
Here are three useful tips for becoming more aware of what you are spending:
There is something about credit cards and debits cards that make it much easier to spend more than you intend to, because you cannot actually see the money leaving your hands. Also, when you use a credit card the money doesn’t come out of your account until much later which makes it hard to gauge how much you have spent.
If you are going out shopping, try taking out as much cash as you will need at the beginning of your shopping trip. Handing over paper bills every time you make a purchase will make you much more aware of how much you are spending. When you open your wallet at the end of the day, you will able to physically see how much change is left over.
Track Your Purchases
Over a month, try saving every receipt from anything that you buy and place it in a plastic bag or an envelope. At the end of the month, total up all of the amounts and sort them into categories such as eating out, clothes, entertainment, household expenses, groceries, etc. You can use a spread sheet on the computer to organize them. Chances are that you will be shocked by the results.
You might have thought you were spending one amount on groceries, eating out, or drinking and then realize that you are spending a lot more!
Check Your Bank Balance Often
With almost every bank offering online banking services these days, you can check the status of your bank account with the click of a button. It is important to keep tabs on how much money you have in your account every day or two. This will help you avoid going into overdraft or having checks bounce, and it will also let you see with your own eyes how much you spend on a daily basis.
If your bank account starts to rapidly shrink before your eyes, it’s time to rethink your spending habits!
Becoming more aware of what you are spending will put you on the right track towards managing your money better.