This is probably not what you want to hear, but it’s what, as hard for me, and is kind of a summary or a combination of some of the financial guru’s say out there. And it’s not give up your coffee, not give up your Snicker’s bar every other day or whatever, the little bitty fun habit that you have, but it is track where you’re spending.
Yes, yes, I know. It sounds like a pain in the butt, but think about it. You can’t really ever know exactly where your money is going until you know where it’s going.
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Now, it might not be as bad as it sounds if you are familiar with some of the way your credit cards work. Like, if you have one credit card and it’s one of the big ones and they have a nice dashboard in the background. You can log in and get a detailed report and it will show you kind of a gist of where your expenditures are going.
Like, bumped into gas, all grouped into restaurants, grouped into office supplies, grouped into groceries. It’s not a 100% accurate, but if you’re looking for a real quick feel, that could do it for you.
But, really and truly until you sit down to kind of take inventory of what you’re doing, how often you’re doing it, and how much you’re spending on it, you’re not really going to have any clear path to saving money. For instance, before I started clamping down, okay, well, my wife had a good say in it.
I was spending $5 here at Wal-Mart, $10 here at ATB, $3 here at the corner store, etc., etc., several times a week or several times every other week.
And at the time, it’s no big deal. It’s just a little bit here and there. So, instead of adding what I need in one big buy at a grocery store where it’s in bulk, it’s in cheaper, it’s at the same time as the rest of our groceries, so it’s more easily trackable and visible as part of that big grocery number.
It didn’t really matter at those instantaneous points of purchase. However, when it ends up being 50 to 75 bucks a month and that easily is almost $1,000 a year, well, that could pay for quite a few bills.
So, yes, you need to pay attention to the little things that happen most often. Make it a spreadsheet, itemize your receipts, whatever you need to do, and get a little bit critical on yourself. Be hard on yourself a little bit for a couple weeks at least to see where you’re at, not just a couple days because really until you have the whole month picture there might be some things sneaking in there.
The best way to save money is to see where it’s flowing. Evaluate whether or not that’s the best way to do things and if you really need it. And then decide what you can do that would make a better use of the money you already have. It’s a whole heck of a lot of money, harder to make new money than it is to reclaim, repurpose, reuse, and be more efficient with what you already have. Think about that. Start saving more money. Bye.