Most of us can’t process how many “5 buck” items we toss in the cart, swipe onto our credit card, or let trickle out of our wallets over a month’s time. We don’t feel like we have spent much money, yet our wallet is empty, our credit card statement is shocking, and the bank account has been drained down to basically nothing.
I looked at my statement one month and noticed I had racked up several hundred dollars’ worth of items and not one of them was greater than $50. This could have been a down payment on student loans, paid off a credit card or I could have at least blamed it on a great vacation. Nope, not one of those purchases could have made me feel like, okay…I’ve made a great decision.
Here are a few tips and tricks to help you patch the hole in your bank account:
- Only use your credit card for things you must buy like groceries, gas, and doctor’s visits. Have those items built into your budget so you can pay off the balance every month. If you’re going to use a credit card, at lease use one that earns you some rewards while you’re making purchases.
- Have enough cash available to cover big purchases you make like furniture or electronics. This will keep you within your budget and remind you not to sign up for those pesky high interest rate credit cards. Save money ahead of time and budget for those big upcoming purchases.
- See how many days you can go in a row without spending any money (especially your cash stash.) When you make something into a game, it becomes a fun thing to do and not a punishment. Put $40 in your wallet and push yourself to see how long it can stay there before you have to use it.
- Make sure your savings is going automatically into your retirement plan and your savings account each month. The old “pay yourself first” rule is still working, and is easier than ever to implement with a 1st Financial RollUp Savings account. This is a perfect way to save without even thinking about it. Every debit card transaction gets automatically rounded up and applied to your RollUp Savings account.
Whenever you go to buy something and that little voice in your head says, “Its only…” you should finish off that sentence with “You worked hard for that money and financial security is important.”
Each dollar you gain in your account has been added due to your hard work and dedication to earning that income. Apply that same dedication to budgeting and getting that savings account where you want it. Follow these tips and you can become more financially secure, 5 bucks at a time.
Until next time,