How to Control Your Spending

Do you never seem to have quite enough spending money? If only you made a little more, you could buy that purse you “need.” Rather than worry about the money that you don’t have, why not learn to control the money that does pass through your hands?

The wise man, King Solomon once wrote, “Money is for a protection.” However, it will only protect you if you learn how to control your spending. By doing this, your confidence will be higher and you will increase your self respect.

“A wise person will listen and take in more instruction, and a man of understanding is the one who acquires a skillful direction,” says a Bible proverb. Ask those around you, including older, more experienced ones to explain how they budget for thier neccesities. Emily, a twenty-one year old young woman, who had trouble controlling her spending says, “My father taught me how to make a budget, and he also showed me how vital it is to be organized in managing family funds.” Simultaniously, Emily’s mother taught her other efficient lessons. “She showed me how to conpare prices before buying,” says Emily. The benefit to Emily is that she now is able to care for her own finances. “I carefully control my own spending, so I have the freedom and the peace of mind that come from avoiding unnecessary debt”, she states.

Admittedly, controlling your spending is easier in theory than in practice. Spending money is fun and buying things gives many people a thrill. In addition, friends may pressure you to spend beyond your reasonable limits. Shopping has become a major form of entertainment. There seems to be an unwritten rule, in many areas of the world, that you must spend money if you’re going to have fun. Everyone wants to feel accepted. But you need to ask yourself, “Am I spending money with my friends because I can afford to or because I feel I have to?” Many people spend money in an attempt to boost their reputation with friends and associates. This impulse can cause real financial problems for you, especially if you have a credit card. One financial advisor warns: “If you feel the need to impress people with what you have rather than with who you are, you are at high risk for credit card abuse.”

Instead of maxing out your credit card or spending your whole paycheck on one night out, try to plan ahead and calculate a limit to your spending. Automatically depositing your paycheck into a bank account helps to reduce spending tremendously. It may also be helpful to only take out the amount you need for the outing . Many have found it wise to only go shopping with friends who are careful with their money and who will encourage you to shop around and not buy the first thing you see.

Would just having more money be the solutions to your spending problems? We all think that a bigger paycheck would be the answer to our financial problems, but that is rarely the case. To illustrate: If you were driving and did not have control of your car or were in the habit of steering with your eyes closed, would putting more fuel in your tank make you more comfortable? Would you be more likely to reach your destination safely? Likewise, if you do not learn how to control your spending, earning more money will not improve your situation.

Most have heard the saying, Time is money. This emphasizes that people must spend time to earn money and wasting time is wasting money. The reverse of this saying is also true- money is time. If you waste money, you are really wasting the time it took you to earn that money. Learn how to control your spending and you learn how to control your time. How so? When you control how much you spend, you also control how much you have to earn. By creating an applicable budget and then sticking to it, you don’t have to work long hours to pay off large debts.

Take control. How much money have you spent over the past month? What did you spend it on? You don’t know? Here’s how to take control of your spending before your spending takes control over you. First, keep a record. For at least a month, record the amount of money you receive and the date you recieve it. Describe each item you buy and the amount it costs. An easy way to do this is to keep all your receipts and to write on the reciept what item you purchased, if it’s not described. At the end of the month, add up the amount recieved and the amount spent. Next, on a blank page, draw three columns. In the first column, list all income you expect to receive in a month. In the second column, list how you plan to spend your money; use the entries in your record as a guide. As the month progresses, write in the third column the amount you actually spend on each of the planned expenses. Also record all unexpected spending. Lastly, adjust your plan. If you are spending more than you anticipated on some items and are accumulating debt, adjust your plan. Pay your debts and stay in control. Remember that progress is not perfection. It is slowly putting one foot in front of the other, and over a period of time, making noticable improvement.

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