3 Tips to Straighten Out Your Spending

Juggling ballsEver teach yourself to juggle?  Me neither.  (If you can, I’m supremely jealous.)

Ever juggle money?  Of course!  You are right now!

Maintaining your money daily, even monthly, is tough.  Check out these three tips to help straighten out your spending.

 

1.  Write a spending plan –  ::Dodges rotten fruit thrown at head::

I know, I know.  You don’t want to hear another person tell you to budget.  I felt the same way when I was learning this stuff.  But, my rotten-fruit-throwing brethren, if it weren’t desperately important for you to budget, then I wouldn’t share it.

Imagine the alternative:  [Tweet “”If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.” – Zig Ziglar”]

 

  • Grab a sheet of paper, a pencil, a calculator and begin.  Write your take-home pay at the top and subtract every expense until you hit $0.  Do this with your spouse, marrieds.
  • Use an online budget via Dave Ramsey’s “Online Zero-Based Budget”.

^^^CHALLENGE:  Complete one of these budgets and hang it somewhere visible.  Make adjustments (together, couples) as they arise.

There is nothing magical about these forms.  It takes the practice of filling one out and living it.

Just like learning to juggle.  Or so I’ve heard.

2.  Pay with cash – Business Insider nails it:

“You spend 12-18 percent more when you swipe your card than when you use cash. McDonald’s observed their average transactions rose from $4.50 to $7 when customers were allowed to use credit cards to make their purchase instead of cash.”

I spend more when I use my debit card.  Hands down.

Also, it’s easier to keep our bank account balanced when it’s not peppered with 83 debit card charges like someone took a shotgun to it.

^^^CHALLENGE:  Try using cash for FOOD this month.  Label an envelope “Food”, budget an amount, and *load it with cash.

*Spooked about carrying all that money?  Split it between two weeks.  Once the cash is gone though, it’s gone.

3.  Set up auto transfers – Simplify your spending by putting some of it on auto pilot.  Hubby and I wave goodbye to money automatically stored into a Christmas savings account monthly or on pay day.  We do this with several of our bills, our charitable donations (except tithe) and our retirement contributions.

Often this takes a few clicks in your online banking or a phone call, then you’re done.

^^^CHALLENGE:  Review your expenses.  Set up at least one to be automated.  If it’s Christmas, vacation, etc., then decide on a sum and divide by 12.

 

“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful.  Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”  – Hebrews 12:11 (NIV)

Many of these ideas came from lessons I learned in Financial Peace University.  I did not originate them; I merely applied them and wish to pass along what I learned.  Also, I do not receive any compensation for endorsing Dave Ramsey or FPU.

DISCUSSION:  First of all, can you juggle?  Second, what are your tricks for juggling finances?

 

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