Where Does My Money Go? – Keeping Track of your Goals
Many of us find it hard to keep track of our spending, whether it be juggling bills to pay, childcare costs, rent arrears or a short term loan, especially in a world where we’re constantly using plastic to pay for everything.
If you’re skeptical about where your money goes, there are many ways you can keep track with just a few helpful hints.
We’re all culprits of this. From that morning coffee to buying lunch every day, spending little and often sure does take its toll and can add up fast.
One way to keep track is to keep a weekly budget, or use a money-spending app. Another is to be savvier with your shopping. Invest in a reusable cup and make fresh coffee in the morning to bring into work.
When doing your weekly shop, buy enough food to make varied homemade lunches, which will stop you from spending money in the week.
Create a budget….. but make sure it’s realistic.
When you next get paid, start by making a list of everything you need to spend during the month, such as food, bills, rent or mortgage, credit cards and those installment loans you took out for that emergency because they all needed taking into account.
Then, add on money for luxuries, but don’t go crazy, and make this your budget for the next few weeks. Any remaining money goes straight into the savings account.
Try and stick to the smallest amount possible and keep telling yourself “Do I really need this?”.
Make a list of all your automated outgoings and see where you can shave off some costs. Of course, many of these will be for bills and house payments, short term installment loan payments, minimum credit card payments, etc, as well as other necessary items, but it’s amazing once you sit down and go through it all how many you forget about.
Plus, it gives you an excuse to review things like your gym membership – can you shop around and get a better deal? If so, do it!
Set savings goals
If you don’t have one already, open up a savings account, even if it means nothing going in there for a few weeks it’s essential to have one.
Aim to pay of the bills/credit/loans that have the highest interest, these will normally be the installment or short term loans you have, but you’ll be surprised at those credit card interest rates and the overdraft fees. Once you have paid of the high interest payments you should be in a better position
Conduct prior research as to the best rates, and download one of the many savings apps to help you put away a nice amount each month. Set your goals and stick to them, then you’ve got something to work towards, and are more likely to stick to it.