A big challenge for most of our wallets is figuring out where the money actually goes. Everyone of us can ramble off a list of the basic bills we pay. It’s the little things that run our bank accounts dry and keep us from saving for the things we really want. The challenge is to start keeping track. This does not have to be a huge event. I went for the save your receipts policy. Every purchase I made I saved the receipt. At the end of the week I took them all out of my wallet and went through to see what I spent money on without thinking about it. Do you know what this little exercise taught me? It taught me to think about those little purchases because they were adding up big!
I already posted that I have started packing my lunch, drinks, and snacks. I also realized that we were spending too much on unintentional grocery purchases. The things we didn’t really need but bought on a whim. We now stick to a strict shopping list and bring an envelope of the coupons we intend to use. I bring the extra coupons in a separate envelope incase I stumble upon a great deal that was not advertised. Our stores do occasional markdowns that you do not know about until you get there.
The one thing that shocked me was how much we spend on late fees at the public library! We all think of the library as being free but those late fees can really nail you if you forget to renew or return things. We were spending at least $4 a month in late fees. Just by returning our books and things on time we will save $48 a year!
We occasionally stop for a quick dinner, buy a toy or clothing item, or go on an outing without considering our budget. We have now decided to make a budget section for these kind of things. That way we know we can do them from time to time but we have to consider them in regards to our budget because when that money is spent we are done for the month.
Please remember that your bank account is not an endless well (If yours is so large it feels that way then you don’t need my advice).