The only way to determine where your money is actually being lost is to track your daily spending habits. If your budget is set for bi-weekly, track spending habits for two weeks. Start a journal and log every single purchase you make. Your dollars are stretchable, but it is up to you to put the elasticity into your money. It is very important that your daily spending journal is honest. If your buy a piece of gum, write it down. This is the only way to find out what your needless expenses are.
Your chart will start with your income. This is the amount you have to pay bills and shop with. You already know the amount of money you have to spend on your mandatory bills. Subtract that amount from your income and the balance is what you have to spend on groceries and incidentals like gas and treats. This is the column that will likely shock you at the end of this experiment.
It is a great idea to shop for sales and bargains. This will certainly help you to stretch your dollars. The problem is, you need a dollar or two left to stretch after paying the rent or mortgage and utility bills. Finding your problem spending areas will give you the chance to stop the money drain and have some savings left at the end of the month.
Don’t spend your hard earned money on needless purchases. If you don’t need it, don’t buy it. You can live without spending $20 dollars weekly on take-out coffee and donuts. Patience and determination are the keys to sticking with a tight budget. When the children bug you for money to go to the movies, tell them to wait a few weeks and they can rent the DVD.
After a few months of living on a shoestring, you will find it has been worth it. You will now have an emergency nest egg in your savings account. As your savings grow you can loosen your budget demands a little. Don’t throw your new found thriftiness out the window just because you have extra cash. Keep on track and accept this as a way of managing your finances permanently.
Financial security is the dream of most families, and it can happen. We all want to have enough money to take away our fears and worries about tomorrow. It all starts with a pen and a piece of paper. Locate your cash draining trouble spots, sit back and relax.