Do you constantly check the amount of money in your saving or checking accounts? Is this a nervous habit that occurs mainly before the next pay day? If so, then maybe it’s a good time to make some financial changes that will help your bottom line and put you firmly in charge of your money.
Do you know where your spending money goes each month?
If you don’t even bother looking at the credit statements in the mail or online, it is impossible to figure out where the problem lies. There may be clues there that can give an indication as to where the problem lies. Take the time to track your spending in a spreadsheet or notebook.
Do you pay too much attention on the short term, rather than the long term?
Many people have trouble budgeting month to the month. One-time expenses or unexpected costs can throw off the entire process. If you look at your finances over the time span of a year, you can see the big picture and plan more effectively. Research at several universities has demonstrated that college students were much more accurate when they budgeted by the year.
Are there any everyday expenses that you can cut?
These can add up quickly, even when it’s just a daily pack of gum or a beer after work. Many people like to point to that cup of coffee many buy on the way to work every morning. That money could make
you a millionaire if invested wisely.
Do you understand what your own particular weaknesses are?
You may not recognize all your weaknesses, but you surely understand some of them. Whatever the items that you feel compelled to spend money on, you can control that spending. If you just feel the need to
shop, go to the dollar store. If you spend too much time shopping, bring a stopwatch. Consider bringing a long a buddy who is also trying to curb spending. There is strength in numbers.
Are you setting aside too much of your paycheck?
Although this may sound odd, compulsive saving can put you in a situation where you can’t pay the bills. If you are socking money away into your savings instead of paying off your credit card bills, you are really losing money on the interest you pay for those credit cards. Be level-headed about your savings. Pay off your debts and switch to debit to avoid problems like this coming up again.
Are big ticket purchases hurting your situation more than the smaller ones?
It’s easy to convince ourselves that a large purchase is a one-time event. But the expense is easily forgotten a few months later and another tempting big expense comes along. Don’t fall into that trap. When you take measures to save money on every large expense and only buy the big ticket items you really need, you’ll save yourself from overspending.
Should you be carrying so much debt?
It costs $1,500 per year to carry the debt on a $10,000 dollar credit card at 15% interest. A $10,000 car loan at 6% costs you $600 per year. Is it worth it, or can some of this be paid off? How can you cut expenses elsewhere to pay down the debt and stop throwing away money on interest.
Jessica Bosari writes for billeater.com. For more help managing money, pay a visit to the site.