Do you have any idea how much you spend on a regular basis? This is a tricky question to answer unless you happen to write everything down. Few of us do this and that’s a shame – if we did we’d have a much more accurate view of our spending habits.
But that’s not all. Writing down everything you spend makes you more accountable to yourself. It makes it a lot harder to spend money frivolously or waste it in any way. If you’re struggling to make ends meet you should consider grabbing a notebook and pen and writing down every cent you spend for the next month. You may find you can live from payday to payday after all, so long as you figure out where your money is going.
This might sound unlikely but it’s worth a try. After all, all you’ve got to lose is a notebook and a few minutes of your time. And you could end up gaining a lot of money as a result.
When should you start?
How about right now? The sooner you make a start the easier it will be to see where your money is going. You might also want to think about paying in cash more. It might be a dying art but in the end it is harder to spend money if you see it slipping out of your hands.
Reality sets in
This is the main thing to expect from this exercise. You’ll end up seeing exactly where every cent goes, and that’s good news for you. You’ll see where you spend money frivolously and where you can save money quickly and easily. If you think you don’t have any cash left to save each month you might be mistaken. You just need to figure out your spending habits so you can identify where that extra cash could be freed up from.
The trick to remembering to write everything down is learned with time. You can keep a diary on your phone if it suits you better than using a notebook; you’ll have it right by your side when you need it then. Just remember to fill in everything, even if you buy a candy bar for fifty cents. Everything counts – that’s the motto of this exercise. By doing it properly you can get the best results and the best amount of surplus cash left at the end of each month.
If you feel a little self conscious about keeping a notebook like this, you don’t have to share it with anyone. When you’re in company just make a quick note on your phone or say you just have to send a text if need be. Either that or remember the details and write them down as soon as you can. A 100% accurate record is the ideal outcome here, so you need to make sure you can work towards that. Keep it going for a month and you might be surprised at what you learn.