Three Tips to Keep Your Finances in Check<

Three Tips to Keep Your Finances in Check

You’ve watched over your bank accounts and avoided big ticket purchases for the month, but for some reason when the dust has settled around the bills and expenses you are left with less money in your pocket than you expected. Why is that?

One of the main reasons people go over their budget every month is due to “micro-spending”. A few dollars here and there every day never seems like much, but at the end of the month these micro-spends are often the culprit of our budgetary problems. Below are a few simple tips to keep this small-scale spending under control.

Schedule Your Week

Very few people realize how much being disorganized can cost you. Not having a grocery list can have you driving to the store multiple times a week. Forgetting to run an errand after work can have you making unnecessary trips back into town. It is easy to forget these little tasks in life, but having a calendar and schedule going can help remove those extra trips we make every month. These simple organizational tools can lead to less driving, less impulsive shopping and fewer chances for you to be out in town looking for a quick bite because you didn’t have time to get a meal put together.

Stay in for dinner

Eating out is the most satisfying way to go broke quickly. Dining out a few times a week can cost an individual almost $100 a month, and a family even more. While it is no fun staying in night after night, reserve those dinners out on the town for special occasions. Old friends are back in town? Go grab a bite to eat with them. It’s a Monday and you don’t want to spend time in the kitchen? Try not to spend money just to avoid cooking a full meal. Settle down with something simple and easy, and enjoy those extra dollars you saved.

Compare Your Bills

Sometimes micro-spending isn’t your fault. Every month your service providers find new ways to tack on a few extra dollars hoping you will overlook the change. We watch as an extra service charge shows up on the phone bill, internet costs increase, and of course that always familiar yet unexplainable rise in our insurance rates. Those small increases may not look like much on the individual bills but at the end of the day it can result in a sizeable chunk of your budget being given away. By keeping a simple record or spreadsheet of the individual bills over the months, you can quickly see where the hikes in your expenses are coming from, and act accordingly.

Organization and awareness are the most important elements when it comes to building a successful budget. A few dollars here and there may not sound like much, but with a good system in place you may find yourself putting an extra hundred dollars a month in your bank account.