How many of you struggle to get your savings under control or just wonder where all of your money goes at the end of the month? I do have an issue with saving but mainly due to the fact that student loan debt kind of sucks the life out of my pay check. I have shared a few of my money saving tricks already but wanted to talk about one of my in your face money saving techniques.
OK its the end of the month all the bills have been paid and you may or may not have been able to put a few dollars into the savings account but where has the rest of the months income gone? I have created a handy Net Income vs Bills Paid spread sheet that I use to see how much I should have left over at the end of the month.
Start with four columns, month, pay check amount (total for the month) and bills paid (total for the month). The fourth column is where you figure out how much you should have left over, you will need to subtract the bills paid from the pay check amount. Once you have this fourth number you can start figuring out if you have any leaks in your monthly budget!
You have completed the spread sheet above and you have discovered that although you have a positive number in your left over column your bank statement is showing a completely different number. I have a few tricks that I started implementing to try and stop the leaks. The envelope system is my go to for knowing exactly where all of my money is headed. If you are not familiar with the envelope system check it out at Thrifty Thursday #2.
If the envelope system is too big of a step right out of the gate then start small the first month and save your receipts. At the end of the month take all of your receipts and figure out where you spend your money. Break the receipts into categories like your would with the envelope system, Groceries, Gas, Entertainment, Dinning Out etc. For the obvious categories figure out if you can cut down on how much you spend.
If you can't trim any excess off the necessary categories look at your receipts that don't fall into one of the necessity categories. This may be that latte you buy every morning our the take out you get for dinner on a regular occurrence. If you are serious about trying to save some dough you will find areas that you can cut back on and put into your savings.
Hopefully this little trick will help you aim your self on the right path to finding results with your hard earned efforts.