I have a few more tips for you today. These might seem like common sense, but I find I still have to remind myself to do them on a regular basis.
- Make a budget - This is really important. It seems like a tedious task, but it is a big eye opener to write down all of your expenses and compare to your monthly income. Make sure you account for things like shopping trips, coffees and try to put a little aside in your budget for surprise expenses.
- Keep track of your money - This is tied into the first tip. Keep track of your expenses by keeping receipts, checking your account balance and recent transactions frequently or using an online program or app such as Mint.com. You should do a monthly (or more frequently if you can) check to see that you are sticking to your budget.
- Live within your means - Once you have created your budget make sure you refer to it, and stick to it. Keep a short version of it with you in your wallet and refer to it when you are out and thinking about splurging on a new $90 pair of jeans. Also, I would recommend referring to it on pay day. It is easy to forget that you have two weeks of monetary responsibilities on the day you get your pay cheque.
- Pay off your debt - This again seems like an obvious one. But rather than buying your lunch each day, try packing your lunch and putting that $10 towards your debt. Any money you can contribute to your debt outside of the required payment will go directly towards the principal amount, which will reduce the interest and pay off your loan quicker.
- Keep your pennies - This is a fun tip that works well in our house. We have a jar where we put all our spare change. After a few weeks or months, depending on how much you use cash, when the jar is full I take it to the grocery store and deposit it in the money machine. The machine counts all the change and gives you a print out of the total that you can put towards your grocery bill. It is amazing how much change can accumulate in a couple weeks, and it makes a bit of a dent in the grocery bill!
So there are a few tips for money management, which will in turn help you to be more aware of your money and save some pennies in the process. I hope your penny pinching activities are going well! If you have any suggestions, or things to add please comment below. And for the rest of the Penny Pinching Posts click here.