Unfortunately, I was ignorant of finance and ended up getting myself into $15,000 debt two years ago by continuing to borrow money online. Like a lot of others, I found myself with a bunch of outstanding loans and racked up severe credit card debt. Now, I don’t have debt anymore beyond my car because I was able to pay everything else off effectively. However, I still find myself worried about getting from paycheck to paycheck. I noticed how significant my problem had become yesterday when I realized I only had $123 in my account and spent all but $13 on my trip to New York. I wish I could manage my finances better to be able to go grocery shopping without having to worry about payday. I am terrified that one day, I will end up getting myself into mounting debt again. What can I do to stop this cycle of money mismanagement effectively? It is stressing me out terribly.
Answer to Controlling your Spending:
First, you will want to accept the fact that you have to say “no” at times. You want to avoid always going out with your friends to avoid overspending.
You will need to get on track and budget your income accordingly. A budget is not something that is going to keep you from having fun. However, it will give you guidance towards spending, which can help you save your money. Without a budget, you are never going to be able to get out of the paycheck to paycheck mindset. If you set aside a specific amount of money every week, you will be able to have a reasonable threshold to hit. This will keep you from overspending.
Along with this, you don’t want to spend idle time in places you end up spending a lot of money. Thus, it means you shouldn’t waste your free time hanging out at the bar or going shopping when you do not need it. After all, if you are in these places, you are much more likely to spend money you can’t afford. You won’t be able to overspend if you aren’t at a place where you would typically overspend. You will also want to be careful of those who are trying to take advantage of you; some will try and mooch off your financial independence; we want to separate away from that peopole.
For many, this is enough to get good results. That being said, some might not be able to leave their savings and find themselves continuing to dip into their piggy bank. If you are someone like this, you can control it by opening a savings account at your bank of choice. Then, you can manage your spending money by moving a fixed amount from your checking account to your savings account every single payday automatically. Along with this, you can remove the ability to access your savings account from your debit card, which will allow you to limit yourself from being able to spend the money you were looking to save.
You should also look to take pride in being able to grow your savings account. This is best accomplished by setting a specific goal that you want to obtain. Then, you can reward yourself every time you can reach the goals you have set for yourself.
A budget needs to accommodate all of the bills that you have to pay off each month. Then, you can carry a small notebook to note down everything you buy. You want to leave all of your credit cards and debit cards at home, so you are not tempted to use them. By using cash and writing all of your expenditures down, it will make you feel as though you are spending and losing money. Whereas, the feeling of swiping plastic doesn’t offer the same tangible sense. After a few weeks, you will begin to notice a significant improvement in your spending habits, and you will be well on your way towards achieving your financial goals.