Tips to Control Spending

Maybe I should have run this post before Christmas.  But sometimes, it’s not until after the fact that you know you have a problem.

With all the inflation lately, there’s any easy scapegoat for your lean financial condition.  But sometimes, inflation gets blamed when lifestyle creep is the real problem.  Time for a reality check.

People tend to increase their spending as their income increases, leading to the feeling that one is never getting ahead.  Tracking spending is a good way to know where your money is going.

Credit cards can be wonderful for tracking spending.  Many cards even do the work of assigning purchases to categories for you.  I personally prefer to put everything on a credit card.  The monthly statement is a record of all my purchases.

One problem to this approach is that when buying with a credit card, we tend to spend more.  Having that record allows you to assess those purchases and have an entire month’s expenses in front of you all at once.  Now it’s easier to glean what increases stem from inflation versus new or increased lifestyle spending.

Then set some reasonable goals for saving, spending and investing.  Wholesale changes are hard to keep, maybe an incremental approach is better.  Perhaps focusing on one area of spending is easier than revamping your entire lifestyle.

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