Has your spending gone out of control? You are not the only one. Even though we are well into 2016 now and getting back on track with finances may not have been in your resolution, it is not too late. Most people create a New Year’s resolution and break it the next month anyways, so might as well start now and you will be happy you did with a little extra in your savings account and less debt. While others are focusing on losing a few pounds, you should work on better spending habits this year.
First, set a budget, and not any budget, a realistic one. Believe it or not, 1 in 3 households operate with a budget, so that leaves 2/3’s of home do not have any kind of plan. Makes you wonder that how many of those households without a budget are successful and are not in mounds of debt, and even those homes that do, how many of those budget’s last an entire year?
Second, once you have a budget, look to remove unnecessary spending. Take a detailed look at your account statements from the previous month and circle charges that you feel could easily be removed and start with those. A great way to start is to look at your eating out and going to bar habits. Now I’m not saying to avoid all together, but having a few drinks at home before you go out and getting to the bar later to finish the night is ok. Same with dinner; eat at home as much as you can. If you do go out later, there is nothing wrong with sharing an appetizer instead of having full meals, and it will be much easier on the wallet.
Third, repetition and discipline is the key to success. Now that you have a budget and are working on eliminating unnecessary spending, now review your finances to see how you end up at the end of the month. Do you have a little extra in savings? Are the balances lower on the credit card statements? Well if so then you are off to a great start. It may not be easy and there will always be unexpected expenses, but try to take everything into account to your budget, even occasions such as birthday’s and holiday’s, where you know there will be additional spending.