Many people say they don’t need to make a budget because they know exactly where all their money goes and don’t need it all written down to keep up with it? If you are one of these people, I issue you this challenge.
Keep track of every penny you spend for one month and I do mean every penny.
I guarantee that at the end of the month, you will be shocked at how many itty-bitty expenses you will accumulate over a month and what those itty-bitty expenses will add up to. That is the very reason all of us need a budget. Don’t rely on the fact you “think” you know what you are spending – take the time to actually “know” that number.
When and only when we acknowledge each and every penny we are spending and gain control of the small expenses that people feel really don’t matter to the overall scheme of our lives, we can start to enjoy financial success.
The little things really do count and they certainly add up over time. For example, if you were to cut what you spend on lunch from five dollars a day to three dollars a day on every work day in a five day work week, that would save $10 a week… $40 a month… $480 a year… $2400 in five years….not to mention interest if it was invested.
There are a lot of places to cut expenses if you look for them and are willing to make a few changes. Here are a few questions to ask yourself:
- Could I walk or bike instead of driving?
- Do I need all of these features on my telephone or do I really use all of the channels I am paying my cable company for?
- Do we really need to go out to dinner tonight or could we turn it into a family night at home?
If you want to be able to make a down payment on a house, start a college fund for your kids, buy a sports car, take a vacation to Aruba… anything… then that is your responsibility to take a good hard look at your spending and make some adjustments today so you can have the money you need for the future.
Feeling the joy of reaching your goals and being secure in your family’s future will never happen if you don’t get a handle on your financial situation now.