The top way to stay in control of your money is to develop and stick to a budget (also known as a spending plan). The simplest way to start your budget is to carry a notebook with you and jot down everything you purchase for at least one monthâ€”even that pack of gum.
Youâ€™d be surprised to see how small purchases can add up and eat away at your hard-earned cash over time. If youâ€™re not into old-fashioned pen and paper, you can use tools like Mint.com or Buxfer.
Once you get a clear picture of how much money you’ve been wasting, take that cash and set it aside in a savings account. I once tried an experiment where I stopped buying coffee for one month and started bringing homemade coffee to work. Every day, I would put the money I would have spent on coffee in a jar. It helped to get a visual idea of what I had been spending on coffee each day. That motivated me to cut back on my coffee purchases and really think about how much I was spending.
So go ahead and start tracking your spending for one month. Let us know how it goes!