3 Ways to Rein in Spending

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Like most Americans, your financial situation may feel out of control. Maybe you overspend for big-ticket items – like a car payment. Or more likely, your money problem is little purchases here and there that add up over time. What financial gurus call the “latte factor.”

For instance, you figure it’s harmless to drop by Starbucks before a shift for a cup of Joe. Before you know it, you’re dropping $15 a week on coffee — which can add up to more than $500 a year. That’s a sure recipe for fiscal disaster. Here are three steps toward more sane spending.

1. Identify your “hot zones”:

Most of us have a particular item or situation that causes us trouble. We’re probably not even aware of it. If you carry a notebook and track everything you spend for a few days, you’ll have a good feel for where your money goes. You can also use an app like Mint, or look at your online banking activity if that’s easier but still reliable.

Do you see a pattern? Are most of your purchases for food – because you’re starved when you get off a 12-hour shift and head straight for take-out? Or is your downfall late night online shopping – to fight off boredom or frustration? Once you’re aware of these hot zones, you can detour around them.

2. Set a Dream Goal:

It’s hard to change habits by saying "No" to yourself all the time. (Willpower is limited.) Outsmart careless spending by imagining a savings goal that’s so motivating you'll be able to resist the impulse to overspend. For example: a family reunion road trip this summer (immediate goal) or early retirement (long-term goal).

Stoke the power of your dream by visualizing it whenever you’re tempted to fritter away money. Or cut out a photo of an Airstream (to remind you of your reunion or retirement) and keep it in your wallet, right next to your credit or debit card.

3. Set a Budget:

It sounds so old-fashioned, but creating a budget can help curtail overspending. From your money tracking notebook or other records, figure out your average monthly household expenses and income.

Some expenses are fairly fixed (rent), but others are variable (utilities). Don’t forget to budget for savings, emergency buffer, 401K contributions, etc. By prioritizing expenses and planning for seasonal or unexpected outlays, such as new car tires, you’ll feel more in control of your financial life.

Jebra Turner is a freelance health writer in Portland, Oregon. You can visit her online at www.jebra.com

7 comments

Yes, this is true that there are some moments when our budget fail and we stay worry. So, as the points mentioned here are really appreciable and we can follow these rules. I like here 2 points saying that first set up the goal and second one is saying set a budget. It is true that as we income money after a lot of struggle so, as we are supposed to invest the same, we have to invest smartly. Like as some months ago, I was expecting to have a car and I have purchased a Audi car one months ago. So, I have made a proper schedule for the same including which model to buty, what does it cost and whether the same is meeting mty requirements or not,. After that I had purchased my car as per expectation and havbe a installment that suits me. So, as cars are stylish and luxurious thing so, our tresponsibility is to choose a perfect one and pay proper money else, our budget may fail and we can face problems. I have to mention here one thing that as we have to pay such a huge budget for a propduct so, it is preferable for us to stand ahead of it, maintain it, service it and repair it as needed and get uninterrupted service from the product.
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Spending money is very easy for everybody but how to income is very important. When somebody spend the money as per the income then it give a better life for the future, there are many type of expenses done in the home but a well maintain thing give better result. From the expenses people make many type of things for their home and family members.

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Spending money in different ways is not a big thing but how can spend in a proper way is important thing. Most of the people don't know about the procedure or benefit of spending money so they face the problem, in some cases people like to spend in buying a own house or car. At the time of buying a car, first see details of the car and what type of benefits or requirements, you can get form the car.

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thanks for the tips, this is very useful for people - people who wasteful. more attention to what should be and not to the purchase is important. especially in the present.

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Every people spend their money as per their income, sometimes people face problem for excess credit and it cretae a meausre issue for them. So always spend as per income and always try to balance both with each other. Here they describe some needful things for use and how to spend money in a proper way.

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