If your spending habits have you digging for pennies before the next payday, maybe it's time for a change. Unfortunately, running out of money before payday, especially if you do it over and over, causes a lot of undue stress that can negatively affect your health as well as your pocketbook. Nonetheless, you can reduce this stress and get back on track with your finances by altering your spending habits. Try these strategies to avoid overspending.
1Make A Master List
Develop a list of all your loan payments and credit card bills. You'll expand your awareness about the number of creditors you have, the total amount you owe, and the due dates of your monthly payments. On the list, have 5 columns: the name of the creditor, your monthly payment, the due date of each month's payment, the amount of interest you're charged, and the total amount you owe.
2Add Monthly Expenses To Your Master List
Next, list things like your rent or mortgage payment, grocery costs, gasoline costs, and anything else you pay monthly. Estimate the amounts for your cable, water, garbage, cell phone, and utility bills using last month's statements. Your master list should reflect all your outgoing expenditures.
3Establish Your Priorities
Which bills do you see as the most important? Mark them in some way by highlighting or circling them. This way, you will know which one is the top priority.
4Survey The Remaining Bills
In looking at your non-priority bills, you can most likely discover some areas in which you can lower your costs. Mistakes happen, and if you don't check your bills, you could end up paying more than you were supposed to.
5Examine Frivolous Expenditures
Are you spending $30 a week on fancy coffees? Do you stop after work for a few beers with co-workers, two or three days a week? If so, consider the amount of money you spend on these sorts of activities. Which expenditures can you reduce? Which can you cut out completely at least for a three-month period?
6Request Lower Interest Rates
Call your credit card companies to request lower interest rates. Make a notation on your master list of the reduced rates you received. Also, note any companies that refuse to reduce your rates. Make the decision to stop using credit cards with high-interest rates.
7Take Steps To Reduce Expenses
Take decisive steps to reduce your expenses. For example, if you're paying out $180 a month for premium cable channels, realize that you actually have the power to cut your cable bill. Simply pick up the phone and call the cable company.
8Try To Make Extra Dollars
Consider a second job. Then, use the extra money you earn to pay off debts. Recognize, you have the power to change things.
9Keep Master List With You Always
Each time you're about to make a purchase, glance at the list, and reflect on your bills. Ask yourself if you truly need what you're about to purchase. Allow yourself to feel proud of this new routine.
10Record Your Feelings On The Changes
It's a challenge to try to change something about yourself, and how you manage your finances is no different. Write down how you're feeling about adjusting your spending habits. Be optimistic that you can and will change your financial situation.
If you consistently find yourself running out of money, vow to follow these strategies to change your unhelpful behaviors. You have the choice to alter your financial habits in powerful ways. You can do it!
Jackie Wing is an Alaska native, who enjoys snowboarding more than is probably socially acceptable. She lives in Anchorage with her two dogs Reese and Peanut, or as she likes to call them "Thing 1" and "Thing 2."