January 30, 2013 – 4:08 pm
Keeping track of your spending is like counting your calories; no one wants to do it, but if you are mindful, you might be surprised at how much you can save.
By: Michelle Gregory
When most people think of making a New Year’s resolutions, they usually decide to give up eating junk food, smoking cigarettes or make an effort to drink less alcohol or exercise more, but there is something that most people have in common; going overboard spending during the holidays. Right in time for Tax Season, Ellen Rohr, a writer for the Huffington Post, advises her readers to take a good look at their finances and see where they can cut back on some of their oversized debt. Rohr offers big spenders a few tips that they can put into practice. Read on and see if your checking account needs a more balanced diet.
Go on a Spending Fast
Flush out the debt in your bank account by spending less and saving more. So many people go on food fasts and cleanses, depriving themselves of their guilty pleasures in spending, how often does anyone think to apply this concept to their spending habits? Rohr says to try to go one day without buying anything. Make your coffee at home in the morning and don’t eat out. If you can go one day, move to a week and then a month. Try to walk or ride your bike to save gas money and you’ll be getting some exercise at the same time.
Be Sensible With Your Spending
It’s so easy to grab a slice of greasy pizza if you’re hungry, but your body and wallet won’t think it was such a great idea after you’ve done that everyday for a week. The same is true about your spending habits. If you need to buy something, don’t choose the first option that comes up in your Google search; do your research to get the best deal for the dollar amount.
Keep All Documents
When it comes time to file your taxes, it’s hard to remember where you put all of your receipts, W-2s, 1099s and health savings account information. Getting something like a data backup from Mozy can secure your data and have all of your finance in a safe, easy to access space. You can use this backup solution for your personal files or to share project files and reports at work.
Mint.com, a finance management application, helps the financially challenged to better manage their spending. To activate this clever tool, all you need to do is link your online bank account(s) to the app and begin organizing categories of which expenses go where. If you spend $50 at the bar, that would go into the category marked “extras,” if you spend $100 at the grocery store, that would fit into the category “food.” You can get a clear idea of how much you’re spending and on what.
Keeping track of your spending is like counting your calories; no one wants to do it, but if you are mindful, you might be surprised at how much you can save in the long run and maybe you’ll actually get to use your tax return to buy something you really want.
About the Author:
Michelle is a financial consultant for middle class individuals and families. She loves helping her clients climb out of debt and into a more financially secure future.