Thursday, April 14, 2011

Keeping Your Monthly Budget In Check

You may be among the many who use their credit cards to pay for all household shopping - groceries, gas, clothing, gifts etc. It may be because you don’t like to carry a checkbook or too much cash (like my husband), or because your cards reward you periodically with bonus points for free shopping (like me).

Whatever the reason, you may also be among those who hold their breath, or even wait a few days, before opening the bill with the final tally.

If you have ever heard yourself exclaim any of the following…

Holy s—t! There must be some mistake here.

How did this get away from me again?

How can I keep this from Bill (or Elaine)?

…then you know that overcharging is easy and causes some serious stress. And if you have had enough of it, here is an excellent motivational tool to finally put an end to it:

On a simple notepad pad, write down the amount of every charge you make on the same day that you make it.  Keep a running subtotal for the entire month. (Make sure you subtotal each new charge!)  Now, whenever you walk out the door to go shopping you will know exactly how much you have left to spend on necessities (groceries and gas), and after the final total you will know what’s left for the little splurges we all like to treat ourselves to.

Do not trust yourself to keep your totals in your head without writing them down! Memory is a tricky thing, and easily influenced by a strong desire for some tempting purchase.  It’s easy to fool yourself into thinking you’ve got more money to spend than you do. 

So, to stop the stress, write it down, check it and keep it honest! 

Good luck with your goal!                                                                                               

1 comment:

  1. It's funny how people (me) are so vigilant in some portions of our lives and not others.

    This is a good tip that I'd frankly like to apply to the time management of my work... I spend frivolously on time, not things.