Hooray you’re on your own. Is it everything you thought it would be? The power is all yours and you have the freedom to make your own decisions. You get to decide what to wear, where to go and what to do. But wait, are your spending habits going to allow you all the freedom you think you have?
When it comes down to it, adulting is hard. Those paychecks don’t last long. Once Uncle Sam gets his portion, then comes the landlord, the utilities, auto expenses and food. Once the necessities have been paid, will you have enough left over for even basic wants? Haircuts, new clothing, going out with friends; these activities are a lot harder to fund when you have to pay for all the not-as-fun stuff. So what can you do?
4 Good Spending Habits
- Pay yourself first. Start a separate savings account. One that doesn’t allow you to transfer funds out of easily is best. Make sure that the bank doesn’t have a minimum balance requirement. There’s no reason to spend money to save money. Plan on putting a set amount from each check into this account. This is a must. Do this first! You never know when emergencies can happen, or if your employment will end. Having something to fall back on is vital to staying out of debt. Check out this article at budgetsaresexy.com for more reasons why you should have an “oh biscuits” fund.
- Plan out a budget. List the items in order of importance. Determine the estimated amount you will need for each expense. If it’s not a set amount, determine the average and round-up. When you pay your bills, mark it off your budget with the date, amounts, and how you paid. Sometimes creditors make mistakes and by keeping track of this information you can catch issues before they happen.
- If your bank allows it, pay your bills online. This helps you to avoid any transaction fees or charges the creditor may charge for paying your bills through them, and you don’t have the stress of waiting for checks to clear. By paying through the bank you have a detailed record of everything paid, and you can keep track of the funds available to avoid overspending.
- Shop seasonally. Everything from clothing to fruit has a season. At the end of each season clothing, shoes, even automobiles are priced to sell. Also, learn the clearance days of major department stores. Each store marks their items down on specific days. Instead of 1st run name brand stores, try stores like Burlington, TJ Maxx and DD’s. They carry the same items but at lower prices.
The most important thing to remember when it comes to your spending habits is to set aside money for your savings. Saving and planning ahead will help you stay out of debt.