The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Challenge of the Week: Be More Aware of Your Spending Habits
Most people spend money as if there was a tree growing in the backyard that they take from, not realizing that their spending habits are causing them to live paycheck to paycheck, often broke a few days before they get paid again. Some people have trouble properly budgeting and spending money is like a guessing game with a hope of getting paid week to week, every two weeks, or twice a month before the money runs out.
No matter what type of paycheck you receive, you should always be mindful of your spending habits. Millionaires and people who have won the lottery have gone broke because they were not in-check with their finances, spending more than their lifestyle can afford, or spending money as if it could never run out. No one can spend money they don’t have, unless you are the United States government. Then you can pretend like you have money and spend as if you will never have to pay it back.
Ba-zing! Unfortunately, you are not the United States government, and the IRS, collection agencies, banks, and companies will come after you and your money if you cannot pay it. They will make sure you regret your life choices, even if you think some of those decisions were the best you made in your life.
Sure, that one night you went to that awesome place and had an amazing time was the best time of your life or that vacation you decided to take where you acted as if there were no consequences finally caught up with you, as your spending habits always will be there to remind you of the life you should be living versus the life you pretend you can live. Your credit score and credit history can be ruined if you do not have the funds to pay your bills.
Many people spend money without thinking about it, without checking their bank accounts, without thinking twice about their wants and needs, and often suffer because of it. They put their wants before their needs and might even buy everything they want before the rent or bills are paid. Unfortunately for most of us, our finances are definitely limited.
Of course, in your quest this week to ensure you become more aware of your spending habits and get on a better budgeting system, you will want to make lists before you go shopping and only get those things, you will want to put your needs before your wants and possibly eliminate your wants completely this week, to see how much you actually save. Instead of going out to lunch while at work, make your lunch this week. Instead of grabbing coffee at Starbucks or your favorite fountain drink at the convenient store, don’t do it, and instead, find an alternative means for having a refreshing beverage. Make your coffee at home or at work and get what you need at the grocery store.
The whole point of this week is to understand your spending habits to get on track, hopefully start saving money, or at least figure out why you never have money, if that is an issue. If it is not an issue, than you will may want to be more aware of how you are spending your money.