Financial Fast Day 9 of 21: Is Saving a Priority for You?

Managed Money Has PurposeDo you struggle to save money? How do you make saving a priority over frivolous spending? How many brand new toothbrushes did you forget you bought, have you eaten half of the food in your cabinets/pantry you bought 3 months ago?

First, begin tracking everything you spend money on from bus fare, a soda from the vending machine, a new pair of sneakers or dental floss. It all adds up quickly if you aren’t careful. Keep a pen and pad with you or keep receipts that accumulate daily. Record each expense and add up every cent you spent that day. At the end of every week, record your weekly expenditures. Do this for 2 to 4 weeks. Notice where you spend the most money and why. Are you not preparing for meals away from home? Are you snacking during the workday via the office vending machine? Is the local trendy coffee shop with free Wi-Fi costing more than internet at home?

Next, take inventories of items in each room of your house. Grab a pen and pad or use Evernote to record how many old toothbrushes you have or hair combs. Keep a tally of each item. If it is not something you will be using in the next 6 months, has been used for its purpose or it has expired, simply throw it out or recycle it.  Example: Go through your bedroom closet and count then number of black slacks you have. Do you really need all of those black slacks? Try each pair on? If they don’t fit, place them into the donation pile. Do this same exercise for your tops, dresses and shoes as well. You now know what items NOT to purchase because you have a plethora of them in your home.

For excessive food, you can either donate half of the item.  Now create a tasty menu for the week or even month. You can have Velveeta cheese, shells and frozen broccoli. With the cans of tuna, you can make tuna muffins. The cans of beans can be made into soups, chili and dips.  Take some time to create build a menu with the food items.

From now on when you go out shopping for non-essential items, don’t buy an item you like or want at that very moment. Instead walk away and wait 24 hours. If you are constantly thinking about the item, then go back to purchase it but only use CASH. When you are purchasing shoes and clothes, ALWAYS try them on before purchasing them. Many people wait until they get home and when it doesn’t fit they fail to return it. Money wasted! If you don’t buy it, put the cash you would have spent in a savings account, a jar or under your mattress.

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