Let's play a game. Take a guess at what the most common excuse is for not tracking or budgeting your money?
got a guess yet?
"I don't think I spend a lot of money!"
Okay. Listen. I really don't like that excuse. Here's why:
1 // There's always room for improvement. Sure, it's great that you're paying off your student loans and even putting a bit into retirement before you spend on 'fun' things (aka iced coffee at starbucks ;) ). But can you do more??? YES! You can always do more. By paying attention to your money, seeing how much you bring in and how much you spend, you might be able to throw an extra $25 or $50/mo to your loan repayment or savings. You'd be surprised at how that extra little bit adds up!
2 // Are you positive that you don't spend a lot of money? I think that sometimes, people tell me (and themselves) that they don't spend a lot of money... but deep down, they're actually really worried about their financial situation. Don't let yourself worry about this!! You have enough other stuff in your brain to stress about. Get your finances figured out so that you know, 100%, that you're doing the best you can for your money.
3 // What is your definition of 'a lot'? Maybe you hang out with friends who spend a TOOOOON of money at the mall every weekend, and in comparison, you don't spend much. But that doesn't mean you're actually doing okay... what if you're overspending your income every and don't even realize it?! You'd be putting yourself farther and farther into debt without even knowing.
4 // What if that statement actually turns out to be true, and you really don't spend a lot? That's awesome! Maybe you can free up some extra 'fun' money to spend on the things you really love! Maybe you've been super frugal and don't let yourself splurge on trips to get ice cream with friends. Or maybe you're in desperate need of new jeans but you haven't let yourself go shopping for them because you're scared to spend money. Knowing exactly how much you're bringing in and how much you're spending will show you how much you have left over for 'fun' purchases like those!
I can't stress enough how incredibly important it is to just know what's going on in your finances. That's all I ask! Just monitor your income and your spending to be sure you know what's going on there :)
How did you save money this weekend??
We went to a free breakfast at our apartment complex... I resisted (barely) the little pack of $1.50 chocolates in line at Trader Joe's... made some amaaaazing homemade pizza (post on our techniques soon!)... and I saved a BUNCH of money by DIY-ing a whiteboard instead of buying one! (post on that soon, too!)