Are you spending too much? For many, the answer is, “Absolutely, yes.” The reasons vary from a lack of budget to a desire to maintain appearances, and many other reasons in-between. To better manage your spending, many financial advisers recommend tracking your cash flow and monitoring your emotional state.
Plan. It’s not only big expenses that put you in debt. More likely it’s “death by a thousand tiny cuts” eating up your income. Track your spending with a notebook or online app, shop with a list, consider using only cash for a couple of months, and set up monthly automatic deductions from your share draft/checking account into an emergency savings fund.
Be mindful. Try to understand why you’re overspending. Maybe you’re trying to keep pace with high-rolling friends or spending makes you feel better—temporarily, anyway. Regardless, when you feel compelled to buy something you maybe don’t need, wait 24 hours and consider why you’re buying it. Ask yourself, “How will I feel when the credit card bill comes?”
Set limits. Be clear about which items or experiences you absolutely must have and decide in advance how much you’ll spend on them each month. Before buying big-ticket items, set aside a small amount from each paycheck until you can afford to buy it. Remember there are many things you can enjoy in your life that cost nothing—talking to friends, having a family game night, walking in a favorite public park.
If you need help getting your finances under control, Public Service Credit Union is available to help you. Contact one of our certified financial counselors at 260-432-3433 to set up an appointment.