I am thoroughly hopeless at keeping a track of my outgoings, in part that is because of my ‘head’ problems but mostly it is just because life is going on (which is preferable to it not going on, of course) and i tend to stuff receipts in vases and boxes and drawers and just about anywhere else i can find handy to deposit them when i get home from shopping. Often though i find that without the ‘evidence’ of what i have spent, in front of me, i forget what i have spent and sometimes because i forget, i think i have more money than i actually do, and that can sometimes lead to spending more than i actually can afford to.
Well, that’s the bad news.
Now for the good news…I am determined to make 2009 different.
I’ve purchased a diary for £1 and I have begun to write in it every time i spend something.
I don’t carry it with me when i am out because it is too bulky, but as soon as i get home i empty my purse of all the receipts i got when i made a purchase, and i write them in my diary straight away before i squirrel the receipts away in jars and boxes and the fruit bowl (for shredding sometime later, always later!)
Well, we may be barely 2 weeks in to January but i have to tell you folks that this is really helping me a lot even in this short amount of time, so i’m sharing this idea with you in the hope you might find it helpful too.
Some more good news for those of us trying to live within our means is that you don’t even have to purchase a diary to start off your record of spending. You can start right now using a cyber alternative I came across the other day, yes, it’s a virtual spending diary!
I prefer to use a diary i can see and touch and because i am too undisciplined to log on spend after daily spend and tap in my expenditure, but i can imagine that it works just fine for a lot of people.
If you find a written record helpful i’ll tell you that I purchased the only diary i could find cheaply before the January sales kicked in, but a notebook would work just as well. It doesn’t really matter what you record your daily outgoings in or on, just so long as you do it.
As i said earlier, i’ve already noticed a difference. When i see my spendy ways clearly written down (okay, scrawled) in front of me, it can actually be quite the ‘wake-up’ call to the uneccessary purchases i can be prone to making…and I already thought I was quite thrifty, apparantly I have a whole lot more to learn about the meaning of the word!
p.s. I have a LOT more money saving/household hints and tips and i will be posting at least one of these kind of posts a week, so stay tuned if you are interested!