Take Control of Your Money
It’s the end of the month and you’ve just finished paying your bills–rent, insurance, credit cards, utilities, car payment, etc. And after everything is paid and your checkbook is balanced, you see once again that there isn’t enough left over to put into savings. It’s just too hard to find any extra money to save, so your savings plan will just have to wait another month.
Sound familiar? For many of us it does. But contrary to popular opinion, financial security can be based on a very modest income and saving money can be much easier than you think. What it comes down to is knowing how you spend and learning how to spend less than you earn.
Little Things Add Up
Many of your large monthly expenses are probably fixed, such as your rent/mortgage, car or student loan payments. But it’s the variable expense category that can easily get out of control. It’s so easy to pick up a daily coffee and bagel, magazine, or a new DVD because individually they don’t cost much.
But if you pick up a coffee and bagel every day for $3.00, over the course of a year that $3.00 could grow to almost $90 monthly and $1,100 annually. The little things can really add up and cost more than you realize.
Everyone Can Afford to Save Money
Finding money to save is easier than you think. If you decided to make your own coffee and bagel in the morning, you could save that $3.00 a day and put $90 dollars into your 401(k) or IRA account monthly. The sooner you start, the faster it all adds up.
Control Your Money
Of course, no one is recommending that you eliminate every indulgence, because some of these small expenses enhance your enjoyment of life. But everyone has some purchases they could reduce to help reach their financial goals. Here are some ideas that can help you control your money:
- Track each expense. Try it for a week and keep a record of absolutely everything you spend. You’ll begin to see how the little things add up.
- Only pay cash. It’s a lot harder to hand over cash than it is to use plastic. This helps cut down on impulsive purchases.
- Wait a day before buying anything over $100. If you really want it, then you’ll go back to the store and buy it. But there’ll be times when you decide not to make the purchase and you’ll save yourself $100 or more.