Time to Examine The Way You Spend

It takes time for most people to get into debt. It takes months or years to rack up credit cards and get behind in payments. The thing to keep in mind is to learn to manage your spending before it gets out of control in the first place.

You’ll need to take an honest look at your spending habits. We are all either spenders or savers. Most people have distinct characteristics of either type.

If you observe a spender, you’ll see that they love to buy things, often at their first impression, or on impulse. They don’t allow themselves time to think about a purchase before making it, and often they could have done without the purchase. Spenders don’t think about the future, and live for today. They typically aren’t interesting in saving.

If you observe savers, you will see many are opposite. They think about the future, more often than the present. They tend to sacrifice. They cut out enjoyments so they can save. Sadly, they may sacrifice so much that they don’t enjoy life, and often don’t make it to the point they’ve been saving for.

It is best to try to achieve a balance between the spender and the saver. Yes, it is important to think about the future, but it is also important to not deny us in the present. Don’t get in the habit of obsessing to the point that you only think of the future.

Start by looking at all your expenditures from the last month. Look at all your receipts, bank and credit card statements. Look at what you are spending at the ATM. The ATM is typically where you will blindly use the most money.

The best way to track your money is through a budget. Know how much you have to spend in every area, and stick with it. After working with the budget for awhile, you will be able to adapt it as necessary. Don’t make your budget too hard to follow. Likewise, don’t give yourself too many opportunities to overspend.

Do you feel you need something new for your wardrobe? Look through your clothing – you may still have some clothing that is suitable and still fits and looks good. Avoid “window shopping” at the mall, as it is too tempting of you see sales, etc.

If you find you overspend with debit cards or at ATM’s, trying carrying small amounts of cash only. Once a week, make a withdrawal for necessities- gas, groceries, entertainment. When you run out of money, that is all you have, no more. By writing checks for bills, it encourages you to track them, which is beneficial. Cash is by far the best way to track your spending. Keep your receipts until the end of the month, then add them up.

By making the time to see where your money goes, you are likely to help curb your spending habits. Try as much as you can to spend less and save more each month. If there is something you really want, hold off a month or two and see if you still want them when you have saved up the money to purchase them.

One Comment on “Time to Examine The Way You Spend”

  1. 1 Festival of Frugality #120 | A Penny Saved said at 8:21 pm on April 7th, 2008:

    […] Blake presents: Time to Examine The Way You Spend at Becoming Debt […]

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