Tips for Responsible Spending Habits


Saving money can be a difficult task, especially for those who live paycheck to paycheck. Most of us try to save money to have in case of emergency, but what happens when we do not have any extra money to fall back on once that emergency situation comes up? Responsible spending habits can help lead to successful saving that many are looking for in today’s tough economy. Below, there is a list of everyday spending tips that might just get you on the track to building up a savings.

Budget, budget, budget

We hear this word all too often, but how many of us actually spend the time creating a budget each month? If you are tech savvy, several websites offer free budget planning, providing all the tools needed to help you get started. Some popular websites that help you create an online budget include www.mint.com and www.budgettracker.com. Some might find these budget templates frustrating, therefore, a handmade budget and calculator can make things easier. First, you want to write down how much you make monthly from every revenue, including paychecks, unemployment, Social Security checks, child support, etc. Next, make a list of each monthly bill and how much each bill costs for that month. A car payment might be the same every month, but the gas bill might increase significantly in the winter. This is why it is extremely important to create a budget every month. Finally, you are going to have to guesstimate how much you will spend each month on clothing, food, gas, and entertainment. You might budget more for school supplies and school uniforms in one month, compared to the next. This leads to our next point, keeping track of your spending.

Spending tracking

Before you create your budget, keep track of how much money you are spending monthly on all the extras in your life. Everything including fast food, filling up the gas tank, and going to see a movie all cost money. Based on your budget, you will have a set amount of money that can be spent on all these extras every month. If you take the time to keep track of all extra spending, you can easily view what type of spending you can afford to cut out. Do you really need to buy that soda and snack from the stop you made filling up at the gas station? The little things really add up and make a huge difference when looking at how much money you have at the end of the month.

Credit Spending

Most people have a credit card for emergency use only, but end up dipping into the extra funds when money runs out. Unfortunately, this can lead to an extra monthly bill with high interest rates when you can’t afford the monthly payment. For this reason alone, you should be very careful when spending money you do not have by using a credit card.

Keep Track of your Credit Score

It is crazy to think that several people have no idea what their credit score is, when credit is looked at when applying for credit cards, a car loan, or home mortgage. By keeping track of your credit score, you are allowing yourself the opportunity to know how missing a payment or maxing out your credit card affects your credit. It is important to note that checking your credit score will not negatively affect it in anyway.

Borrowing money/loans

Similar to credit cards, taking out loans can come with high interest rates and lower your credit score if you do not pay on time. Say you need to borrow $500, and you are given a high interest rate in paying back the loan. You could end up paying hundreds of extra dollars, which doesn’t seem worth it in the long run. If you do need to take out a loan as an only option, make sure you are only taking out what you need. This is a problem many come across when borrowing money; borrowing more than they actually need. Remember, the less you need, the less you have to pay back, including interest.

Hopefully these tips come in handy when looking at your own spending habits. Remember, it is important to build a monthly budget. This is first step in creating an understanding of your own financial priorities. Nobody wants to struggle with money, and developing healthy spending habits will help to develop our saving habits, which can give us a secure financial future.

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