A huge problem people have with controlling
their financial situation is understanding where the money goes.
Look over your bank and credit card statements and see how much
you have spent on clothes and restaurants. You may be shocked at
the number. Identifying areas where spending is out of control
is the first step to regaining control and begin
prioritizing spending habits. Most importantly, analyze and
understand your spending habits.
This should be the most simple step for putting your finances in
order. No budget = no plan for how your money will be spent. No
plan means you will not have little control/input over the
business of your money. A strong budget is like grounding your
money...it can't go anywhere without your permission.
Maintain a Journal to Detail/Outline Your
Most people use their credit cards for all purchases. Which
equates to tracking credit card spending by either throwing the
receipt in your wallet or into the trash. Not very good tactics.
If you pay by check, you can balance your check book and know
exactly how much is being spent and where it is going. Giving
yourself an allowance of cash to use is really the best route.
Regardless of which spending method you use, keep a small
journey book with you at all times and write down purchases and
the amount being spent. This will allow you to keep an
organized, detailed record of where your money is going and
identify where you may need to
make changes to spending habits.
Keep a Ledger
Commonly known as a checkbook register. The program
Quicken is a very
popular program and easy to use. A good idea would be sit down
at least one/month, even twice/month with all the receipts from
all of your purchases and detail every transaction. Detail every
purchase and note when checks clear and most importantly make
sure the numbers match up. This will allow you to not only
review spending habits but also pinpoint any errors of spending
that need to be adjusted as well as any issues/errors with your
banking that need to be fixed.
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