Do you have trouble keeping track of your finances? Maybe your savings is a lot lower than you will need for your future. If you are having personal finance issues, it can be very easy to get back on track by using your journal.
Find Out Where the Problem Lies
People are usually more honest with themselves when writing in a journal than they are when they talk to the people who are closest to them. While talking to someone about these issues may help, you might find that writing honestly about your situation will open your eyes to the root of the issue. There are lots of reasons why people spend too much. Some people have spent their entire lives buying material items to make them feel better, while others simply don’t want to cook so they go out to eat too often. Whatever the symptom (over-spending on cloths, food, or other unnecessary items), you will need to figure out why you do it if you want to control your spending. Once you have tackled that problem, you can start using your journal to fix it and manage your money wisely.
Create a Strict Budget
One of the most important steps to proper spending habits is a budget. Write down all of your living expenses for the month. Create a column for fixed expenses (i.e. rent, cable/phone bill, etc.) and one for variable expenses (i.e. electric, water, groceries, etc.), and then write down the amount of money you expect to spend on each item every month. Be as reasonable as possible with your variable expenses. Remember that it is important to try to save as much money as possible on these items, but you shouldn’t choose a number so low that it is unattainable.
You should also remember to include an amount of money you would like to save every month. Those who put money away before they spend the rest of their paycheck are much more likely to be successful with saving than those who save the money they have left at the end of the month. If you put a specific amount of money away and then budget what you have left from your paycheck, you will find that saving can be quite easy. This money could go toward your retirement, a savings account for emergencies, or even for a special occasion. A little bit of money each month will add up over the years, and some extra money set aside will give you more financial stability.
Follow Through and Stick to It
The hardest part of a budget is actually sticking to it. It is very easy to let yourself slip “just this once” until this excuse becomes a common occurrence. Write about every single thing you buy every day. When you see on paper where you money is going, you will hold yourself responsible for those purchases. If money came out of your account or if you made a payment it should be written down.
You should also write reminders for when you will need to make your payments. One of the worst things you can do for your financial future is forget when to pay your bills. It could ruin your credit, which could in turn make it difficult for you to get a loan, a house/apartment, or a job in the future. If you stay on top of your personal finances now, you can avoid financial troubles later and have a lot less to worry about.
About the Author: Elise Brown
Elise Brown is an author who writes guest posts on the topics of business, marketing, credit cards, and personal finance. Additionally, she works for a website that focuses on educating readers about no fax payday loans.