Want to move your budget forward faster? Start by spending less every month so you can apply those funds to pay off debt, set up an emergency fund, and build wealth. Here's how!
Separate 'Needs' from 'Wants'
Food in the kitchen, gas in the car, and clothes on your back - these are needs. Concert tickets, dining out and vacations are wants. Try this eye-opening exercise: look at last month's bank statement and circle the items that are needs. Can you find ways to spend less on them? Now consider everything else on your statement - the wants. How can you reduce or eliminate them entirely?
Whether you choose to comparison shop for utilities, buy generic or pre-owned instead of new items, or 'brown bag' your lunch, these small decisions will start to have a big impact on your overall spending. The more you can cut back or eliminate spending on goods and services, the faster you can reach your financial goals.
Your Credit Card is a Credit Tool - Not a Spending Tool
Generally speaking, if you don't have cash, you can't afford credit. If possible, try to use credit for only a small expense you would normally spend cash on - like a tank of gas - and pay it off in full before the payment is due. This will help you build your credit score which will help you spend less in interest in the long run.
Commit to Living Lean
Do you need to cut out all unnecessary spending? Probably not. Chances are you will start to see a real benefit by making small, every day choices to scale back your expenses. However, these small choices will depend largely on your commitment to your financial goals, so stick with it! When you change your mindset about how you spend money, you are going to meet your financial goals much faster.
Also, don't forget to celebrate your successes along the way - even the small ones! Managing money is a lifelong process, so every success we have brings us closer to meeting our goals. And, as always, we're here to help! You've got this!