Monday, March 18, 2013

Spending danger zones: Identify and avoid

RAMS LOOSE CHANGE ROUND-UP competition entry

Money causes me a huge amount of anxiety. I never seem to have enough and when I do get some it disappears so quickly it leaves me breathless and waiting desperately for the next pay day.

I am probably the last person in the world that should offer money saving advice. Even though I set a budget to help my disastrous money management skills I still run out of money. Every. Single. Month.

To keep track of my finances I do the following:
  • keep a money diary to see where my money goes
  • maintain a budget spreadsheet that outlines all my income and outgoings and the dates they are expected to occur
  • have all my bills paid by direct debit come out of a cash management account which is inaccessible from the ATM to ensure there is always money in the bank to pay for them
  • avoid having any credit cards
The best tool I have to ensure my bills are paid is my Excel spreadsheet which tables all my expenses for the month and then calculates how much cash I have left per week for spending. That spending money then has to pay for petrol, groceries, toiletries, food, eating out, coffees, clothes, activities with Noo (eg going to the aquarium) and any other ad hoc spending. This is where I get into trouble because while I set a budget every month, I never stick to it.

Looking at all the data I have collected over the years I can see where my spending danger zones are. I've put together a little infographic below to show both you and me where I can curb my unnecessary spending and hopefully help me to stick to my budget.

I reckon if I follow these tips and become more conscious of my spending danger zones, by avoiding them where possible, I might have more success with sticking to my budget. It would be so wonderful not to have to hang out for pay day every month!

Hell, I might even get some savings started!

What are your spending danger zones? Do you stick to a budget?


Disclaimer: This post is my entry into the "Rams loose change round-up" blogger competition for bloggers attending the Digital Parents Conference.

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