If this is you, you are not alone. It’s the little spending that gets forgotten. It’s also the little spending that can break any budget and lessen the amount you have to save. A restaurant meal, a few coffees, a movie, some lottery tickets, and poof! The $60 dollars in your wallet is gone.
You have to know where you spend your money to make your goals a reality. This month my husband and I are tracking every penny we spend. That means we are writing down all the credit and debit card purchases, checks written, bills paid, ATM withdrawals, and cash spent.
How do we do it? Each day we come home and put it into a tracker. How you track your spending is up to you (written, spreadsheet, or online). Already at midmonth I can see some areas that need addressing.
Our next step is to make the changes we feel are needed, by cancelling services we don’t use, calling to see if there is another option, checking out the competition for pricing, etc.
Just like us, you will see areas that need changing. We had no idea we spent so much on little things that really aren’t that important to us. Then, it’s up to you to decide if you need to address that area or not. Through your efforts, you will be able to lessen some areas of spending and put the savings towards things you really feel are important.
All these little changes will add up to extra money you can put towards your financial goals.
Tracking your expenses is the first step to understanding your spending habits as they really are. If you want a copy of my tracking form, email me. You have to see your spending to believe – only when you believe will you make the necessary changes. Saving a few dollars here and there can help you make a big start on your emergency savings.