The New Year is a time of new beginnings — a chance to get a fresh start, and change your life. What better way to do so than by taming your spending? It’s an awesome way to take your financial life from stressful to amazing.
It all starts with a mindset change
The key to taming your spending — and getting control of your finances — is to become aware of why you spend money, and to pay attention to how much of it you’re actually spending.
That’s right. Two little things: “Why” and “How much”.
You can do this most easily by sticking a piece of paper in your wallet or purse. (That can be the back of a receipt, in a pinch.) When you buy something, make a note of what it cost you and why you bought it. For example, you might write “Candy bar, $1, bored at work.” I know this doesn’t seem like the usual advice on reducing your spending, but it’s truly key.
So pay attention
Give it a week, and see what you’ve been doing with your money. You’ll probably see a pattern. And I’m betting that by the end of it, you’ll be spending less without even trying. (It’s like in science — just the act of observing something can impact what’s going on.)
From there, you can actively reduce your spending more. Cut out things that you’re not benefiting from (like that old gym membership that just makes you feel guilty), and shop around for better rates on the services you do want to keep.
Set a goal to reduce your spending by a set amount this month, and keep reducing it each month until you reach a level that feels good to you.
You’ll be glad you did.
P.S. To help you along in turning over that new leaf, here’s a chance for you to win $100 :)