Did you join us for the 5 Days to Budget Breakthrough challenge? [Click here to read more.] Today I’m following up with one more challenge: addressing spending problems.
Find the Leaks
If you participated in the Budget Breakthrough Challenge then you have been recording your spending for the last two weeks. At this point you are probably beginning to see some patterns.
Many times money is “leaking” from our lives without our realizing it. Recording your spending enables you to see exactly where the money is going and helps you to find the “leaks”. Maybe you didn’t realize that you were spending $50 a week on lunches out with co-workers or that you actually spend $700 a month on groceries for your family of four.
To find your money leaks, take a few minutes today to look over your spending records from the past two weeks, or if you were not a part of the Budget Breakthrough Challenge, start recording your spending today.
Discover the Source
Once you see where your “leaks” are, you need to stop the flow of money by discovering the issues behind the spending.
One of our problem areas was making trips through the drive-through which cost us between $10 and $20 a visit. When I looked at why this was happening, I realized that on busy days I was really tired just before dinner time.
I addressed this problem by planning my dinner meals ahead of time (and even better, putting something in the crock pot in the morning!). To make meal planning part of my routine, I chose a specific time each week to plan the menu for the next seven days. Knowing that I had something for dinner kept me from making fast food purchases, and we ate healthier food too! [You can see my $125 Budget Weekly Menu Plans here.]
Don’t stop with simply discovering the problem. Create a workable plan to change your leaky budget areas.
Reverse the Flow
After you find your budget leaks and devise a plan to fix the problem behind the spending, start reversing the flow of your money. Rather than spend those little drips and drops, why not save them? Five dollars may not seem like a big deal, but if you save just $5 a day, you will have $150 by the end of the month and $1800 at the end of the year!
By simply changing small habits you can save hundreds of dollars a year rather than watching your money go down the drain. If you are tired of living from paycheck to paycheck, why not take the opportunity today to look at those small amounts of money differently so that you can change your financial situation?
What is one spending area that you can change this week? Leave a comment with your plan so we can encourage each other. 🙂
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