Managing money is a never-ending process. As much as I wish it were just another item on my to-do list that I could check off and declare officially done, that’s simply not the case!

You know the phrase, “out of sight, out of mind”? That’s exactly what happens when you don’t stay on top of your money. You forget what you’ve spent, and quickly lose sight of those lofty savings goals you wrote down at the beginning of the year.

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While some might say you need to budget once a month, plan weekly check-in’s, or have an occasional money chat with your spouse to stay on track, I think it requires much more maintenance than that to avoid potential money leaks. Daily habits are the key to success, and these 5 will keep you focused on the goals ahead!

1. Spend Smart

Almost every single day we spend money — whether it’s on a quick grocery store run, pumping gas in the car, or purchasing an item we found online. But what we often fail to do, is ask simple questions about the money we spend, such as:

  • Could I get by without this item?
  • Could I get it for FREE, or could I borrow it?
  • Is there any way I can I get for less?

I know that seems like a lot of questions when you’re picking up something really simple like a bag of apples or a package of socks, but the answers are as easy as a 5 minute search online for a printable coupon, downloading a money saving app, or waiting a few weeks until an item pops up on Craigslist instead of paying full price.

The point is to think through any purchases you might possibly make that day before heading out to the store and handing over your hard-earned money. Just a few minutes of brainpower could be the difference between a few dollars, or a few hundred!

Save receipts so you can better keep track of your spending

2. Keep Track of Receipts

I’m a big proponent of expense tracking {yes, down to the very last penny!}, and even have a little receipt jar in my office where every receipt goes after I get home from the store or running errands. This saves me loads of time that I would have previously spent digging around in pants pockets or purses trying to make sure I didn’t miss anything.

I might not get to entering in all my receipts every day {this is usually a once a week process}, but it’s a visual reminder of what I’m spending every day, and that’s what counts. When my little jar is stuffed full in just a couple of days, I know my spending is getting out of control, and I need to be a little more careful.

Instead of the paper/pen route, you could also download a receipt tracking app, like Smart Receipts {Android} or OneReceipt {was shutdown in 2016}, and snap a picture of your receipt to create an instant digital footprint.

Checking your bank account can be scary but you have to keep track of your finances

3. Check Your Bank Account

Sometimes we don’t always have a receipt for purchases we make. For example, have you ever signed up for automatic payments, or had a receipt emailed to you from a department store?

These purchases quickly bury themselves in your inbox if you don’t stay on top of them. I like to check my bank account every day so I don’t miss anything and always know what’s going in and what’s coming out.

This is also a good idea if you carry a credit card. Check your account every day, or every other day, and keep an eye out for unauthorized purchases. If you wait too long, you might have hundreds charged to your card, without even knowing it — yikes!

4. Find Ways to Be Thrifty Around the House

Managing money isn’t just about spending, it’s about saving too, and there are so many creative ways to do this right at home! Here are a few things that will save a few dollars every day:

  • Eat at Home — Start meal planning and/or freezer cooking to avoid spending money at overpriced restaurants. You should also be diligent about eating leftovers to eliminate waste.
  • Experiment with Homemade Cleaners — It’s incredibly easy to make your own cleaning products and they cost pennies compared to bottles at the store. You probably have most, if not all, of the supplies in your pantry.
  • Repurpose and Reuse — Our grandparents were very diligent in finding alternative uses for supplies that could very well have gone straight to the trash. Before throwing an item away, see if you can give it new life. Just be careful not to let it turn into clutter!

Make sure you and your partner are on the same page when it comes to your spending and finances

5. Communicate with Your Spouse

I find that the best way to get my spouse on board with any financial goals, is to keep him in the loop. If my husband has no idea what he can and cannot spend, he will probably spend more often than not!

A quick chat in the morning or evening about any purchases we need to make that day makes all the difference. I also like to physically show him our budget and bank accounts so he knows exactly where we stand and how much money we have designated for each expense.

Maybe your spouse is the one that actually does the finances. I still encourage you to ask questions and communicate just to keep yourself informed. Working together not only leads to a stronger marriage, it avoids potential money conflicts too.

If you’re tired of feeling like you can’t stay on top of your money, try one or two of these habits until they become just another part of your daily routine. Then add on a couple more until you’re practicing all 5 without really thinking about it. You just might find that managing your money isn’t so much of a chore after all!

 

5 Life Changing Simple Habits | Change Your Life With Mini Habits | Life Change | Life Hacks | Habits That Will Change Your Life | Simple Life Habits | Ways to a Healthy Life

 

 

Kalyn Brooke
Kalyn Brooke is a life management expert for busy women who crave a simpler and more organized life. Through her recognizable, down-to-earth approach, she provides a daily dose of inspiration and guidance, whether you’re looking for smart money tips, time saving routines, or anything in-between. When she’s not experimenting with ways to do even the most mundane tasks more efficiently, you can find her crafting detailed to-do lists in her bullet journal, or indulging in—yet another—personal development book. Meet Kalyn and learn how stay on top of it all at KalynBrooke.com.
Kalyn Brooke