How to Save Money and Spend Wisely
Maintaining your money daily, even monthly is tough. If you don’t get control of it though, it can leave you stressed, ruin relationships and leave you broke.
Check out these three tips to help straighten out your spending.
1. Write a Spending Plan
I know, I know, it’s boring. You don’t want to hear another person tell you to budget. I felt the same way when I was learning this stuff. However, if you don’t tell your money where to go and have control of it, you will fritter it away and be left in debt.
“If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.” – Zig Ziglar
If you have a spending plan you have something to aim for and achieve your financial goals.
- 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/significant other if you are in a relationship.
- Use an online budget or App
- Stick to it!
Complete one of these budgets and hang it somewhere visible. Make adjustments as they arise. There is nothing magical about these forms. It takes the practice of filling one out and living it.
2. Pay With Cash
“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.” – Business Insider
I spend more when I use my debit card, easily. 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.
If you pay with cash, you tend to be more mindful of your purchases. However, make sure you keep the receipts so you can track your spending.
Try using cash for FOOD this month. Label an envelope “Food”, budget an amount and out your cash in it. Once the cash is gone though, it’s gone.
3. Set Up Automatic Transfers
Simplify your spending by putting some of it on autopilot. Hubby and I wave goodbye to money automatically stored into our Christmas savings account monthly or on payday. 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. Setting it up is easy. The more you can automate your savings, bills and other finances, the easier it is.
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)
What are your tricks for juggling finances?