Think you might be addicted to spending? Follow these 3 easy rules to get your spending under control:
1. Cut up your Credit Cards- You may be wondering, what do credit cards have to do with my spending? Well let me count the ways and break it down for you. First, if you don’t completely pay off the balance at every billing cycle, you’ll be charged interest by the credit card company. And trust me, that loan isn’t cheap when you start having to pay nearly 20% interest on it. Even if you completely pay off the balance each month, there is another way the credit card companies get you, and that’s by incentivizing you to spend more money to earn points and rewards. The rewards you earn with these points may sound great, but they’re actually costing you more money than you’d expect.
2. Buy Everything with Cash- This may sound like an antiquated concept, but cash is king as the saying goes. When you buy something with cash, the physical act of handing over the cash is far easier to feel than quickly swiping a piece of plastic. And when you use cash to pay for everything, your stack of cash acts as a visual representation of your bank account, so you can see what you have left and adjust accordingly. Consider putting your cash into several different envelops, each of which being designated for a specific purpose. When the envelope runs out of cash, you’re done spending on that particular category. This will automatically put a governor on any out of control spending habits.
3. Plan your Spending with a Budget- Planning is key to succeeding in any area of life, and personal finance is certainly no exception to this timeless rule. In order to win with money, you need to have a plan, and the best place to start is a written budget. This budget should list out all of your income and expense categories, along with how much you’ll be allowed to spend on each. Be sure to check back on this budget each month to make sure you’re sticking with it.