Where did my money go
Do you ever feel like you can't get ahead financially? You work hard and then before your next paycheck arrives you're broke! Well you are not alone. Surveys estimate somewhere between 50% to 80% of Americans spend beyond their monthly income at least several times a year. This overspending leads to more stress, less savings (if any) and can contribute significantly to ones financial instability.
The reasons for overspending vary, but that's not what this article is about. We want to look at the facts. Where did my money go? So, how do you understand where all of your hard earned dollars go?
Easy, you track your spending by
writing it down. Of course that is the answer you say, everyone knows that, but do you actually do it? Many people think they know where they spend their money, but if you don't
write down every expense on a monthly basis and review it, do you really know?
CHALLENGE YOURSELF THIS MONTH! Make a commitment to track ever single penny you spend. You will be surprised what you find out. Once you have this information you can make changes to your spending, which will allow you to manage your finances more effectively.
Remember, ever single penny counts, so don't forget to count all of the cash you spend. If you have a debit card, try and use that for all of your transactions. That way you will have less cash transactions to track. Pick a system that works for you, use a notebook, keep receipts, whatever you will actually use. Below is an Excel tracking and budget tool that can help you take the numbers you gather a and turn them into a working budget.
Good luck and stick with it. Think of the money you save as getting a raise. If you control your spending you will have more money to put into savings for a rainy day or when the car breaks down!