Spending ...

Tips For Tracking Your Family Spending

Are you "spending money like a drunken sailor"? I don't know how a sailor, drunk or sober spends, so maybe the questions should be:

Do you ever feel that you never have enough money, no matter how much you earn?

Do you feel in despair about ever getting ahead financially?

Do you often think you must have a hole in your pocket when it comes to money?

Track Your Spending!

One way of figuring out how much you are spending is to keep strict track of all the expenditures for a couple of weeks to see where all the money is going.

That's right. Write down every thing you have spent money on every evening before you go to bed, otherwise you'll tend to forget. Include that coffee you had with friends after work and the chocolate bar you snacked on during the mid-afternoon break. Don't forget that lottery ticket you may have grabbed on the way to work, in the hopes of wining the big one. Remember that this is your money - money you've worked hard to get. You are actually giving up part of your life to make money to live on ... a big part, in fact. That's why it is important to take responsibility for your financial situation.

Another tip is to keep track of gift buying. There is money for birthday gifts and cards for the children's friends. This can all add up to an astonishing amount throughout the year. Many times the money for gifts is taken out of your purse and no record is kept of it. Then you wonder why your purse always seems to be empty. In fact it's a good idea to encourage the children to make gift cards and wrapping paper. It will stimulate their creativity and save you heaps. Encourage them to keep their own records of what they spend money on. This will instill a habit that will help them when they grow up.

At the same time as you're keeping this record of what you are spending on the small stuff, also keep a record of where the larger amounts are going. You'll have records for rent or housing payments, insurance, car payments and utilities, even if it's just the receipts you've been sent. Write them all down in one place so you can see at a glance how much you have to spend on these types of bills.

This can be written down in an exercise book, but if you buy a simple ledger it will greatly enhance your record-keeping skills. Better still, use software such as Quicken or Mvelopes if you have a computer. Once you can see it all written down in black and white, you'll be surprised how easily you'll be able to identify areas of spending that can be eliminated, thus saving you more than you could believe.

For worksheets that will help track your spending go here.


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quote open Extravagance is its own destroyer.quote close
~ Zeno

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