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Monday, February 8, 2010

Controlling Your Cash

There are always things in our life that we don't need. It's true! If you really want to get ahead in life you need to separate your needs from your wants and only stick to buying what you truly need. It seems impossible or even unthinkable sometimes, but it is a necessary step if you are wanting to save more money.

For example, think about those seemingly small expenditures. Purchasing that cup of coffee everyday from Starbucks. Grabbing a Diet Coke at Sonic everyday at lunchtime. Making sure you have your weekly manicure. It all adds up! Spending $3.95 a day on a cup of coffee only 5 days a week adds up to $79 a month, and $949 a year! Think about some of the things that you do....whatever they might be. Add up how much you are spending and ask yourself if you could be putting that money somewhere else.

At our house we don't have cable, dish, or satellite. In almost twelve years of marriage we have never paid for television. I know for many people that is out of the question, but we feel it is right for us. And it has saved us thousands of dollars!

Last year I started doing something I read about in one of Suze Orman's books. I calculated how much we spend each year on dental, car insurance, contacts, and other things. Then I divided the yearly amount by twelve. That gives me a ball park figure of how much to save every month for that expense. That way, when I have to pay my car insurance every 6 months I already have the money saved up for it. No scrambling. Same with my dental expenses. That is even more important to us since we do not have dental insurance. For over a year I have had peace of mind with our dental expenses because I save an allotted amount every month towards it and when we have to pay for dental expenses the money has been there. It feels so good!

Not only is saving money necessary but we must control what we do spend. That is the only way to get ahead. Don't spend more than you earn. Put away those credit cards. Don't take out loans for everything you want to buy. Decide how much you can spend each month on groceries and don't go over that amount. When you can be in control of your finances you are in control of your life!

This week I challenge you to look at your expenses....see where you money is going and where you need to cut back. If you don't already use a money management program, I highly recommend one. I use Quicken, and I LOVE it. I can see at a glance where my money is going. It takes some time to record things and keep it updated, but it is worth it. We always know where we stand. Even if you have to figure it out on paper right now, do it! Even cutting out one thing can make a big difference!

6 comments:

sunnie said...

So refreshing to see someone else think the way I do. Budgeting is the only way to go!

Amber said...

I totally agree. I have so much peace of mind from managing my money. I've found a really great budgeting software (I promise I don't work for them) that has totally helped. It works with a "live budget" rather than just analyzing what you spent at the end of the month. It's www.youneedabudget.com.

Lynette said...

I'm glad there's somebody else out there that doesn't pay for TV!

Rachelle said...

I use Mvelopes.com and LOVE it! So easy to use and I can clearly see where I stand. Check it out!

katie said...

We started Dave Ramsey's total money makeover in January and it's been amazing what we've been able to accomplish! We've paid off 4 credit cards amounting to $3097.00 in just a month and a half. I have so much peace knowing that I'm on the right track to financial freedom! This book has been a big inspiration to me. Budgeting is definitely the way to go!

Katie said...

I too LOVE mvelopes.com. It is awesome! It is nice to see others who as Dave Ramsey says, are WIERD, and in control of their money!

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