Follow me on my journey to cut the excess spending and pay off debt. You may think that you don’t have excess or unnecessary spending, but this exercise will soon let you know. 98% of people have no clue where all there money goes.
First, write down all income. This means any money coming into your hands through your employment, garages sales, interest on accounts, winnings, inheritance, money owed you, gifts, anything and everything. How much do you have in savings? How much in other accounts? How much do you have left? This is how you will find out where all the rest went.
Make a list of everything that you need to survive – housing, transportation, and food.
This month write down every penny that you spend, and it MUST be every penny. That is how you will find the excess; the money you spend usually on unnecessary things. You will be able to find out where all the money went the past years.
You can use an app on your phone. Mint.com is a good free one that gets everything from your bank account and tracks for you. I am using the free Track My Spending app and Track My Spend app. They are really easy to use and don’t tie to my account. See which one you like better. You can also use a good old fashioned piece of paper or an Excel spreadsheet. Then get some highlighters or color the Excel lines with five different colors. Categories include:
2. Rent, utilities, water, mortgage
3. Debt payments
4. Food (usually needs to be cut the most)
5. All the rest – Excess
Money out of the ATM is excess because you usually don’t know where it got spent.
Think you don’t have excess, but don’t know where the money went? The money got spent on electronics, toys, Starbucks, big screen TV’s, tools, frozen packaged food, convenience food, fast food, restaurants, food getting freezer burned in the freezer, lottery tickets, vacations we can’t afford, new cars, fancy shampoo, and the list goes on and on.
This is not meant to make you live in poverty, have no fun, or never buy anything. You can still eat out or buy a new TV if you choose and have the cash for it. Right now just see where the money is spent. Try this first step, it’s an eye opener!
Ready for Step 2? Steps to Cutting Debt – #2 Create A Budget