Easy Ways to Maintain Expenses
Maintaining your expenses is probably the hardest and saddest of things to do for any person. But since it is also of the prime importance, let’s find out the easy ways to do it.
Find out your exact expenditure
This is not that difficult as it may sound. You can consider a period of a week or a month to track your expenses. You can do this in two ways.
•Pay everything through your bank account. Stop using cash completely and utilize credit cards, debit cards or PayPal transactions to pay for everything you buy. Electronic transactions automatically register all your expense records, thus, saving you the hassle of doing them yourself. You can simply use this data to analyse your monthly expenses.
•Note your every expense. This is the old school way to track your money outflow. Carry a notebook with you everywhere you go and note each time you pay for something. You can also make use of the e-notepad on your phone for this. At the end of the month you can add data up to get your exact expenditure. In case you are tracking your expenses for only a week’s time, multiply it with 4 to get the approximate expense for a month.
While the former method is easier, it may cause you to spend more since with plastic, all the transactions are intangible. The second method although saving you from overspending, is bit of a headache; besides, you may forget to note each time you take out those bills from your pocket. Although, it is better to take a little pain to note down your payments manually, than to spend more than you would normally and suffer this way.
Make a budget
Based on your finding of your exact expenditure for the period chosen, you can now make a budget. The easiest way to do this is by first setting aside 10% of your income for savings. Now taking the help of a spreadsheet like Excel or any other personal financial program, make different categories of your monthly expenditure viz. housing, water, electricity, food etc. and put underneath the amount of money you would like to budget for them. Do not forget to make an additional column named ‘miscellaneous’ and putting some percentage of your money under it too for any emergencies or those events that are not periodical like car repair, house painting etc.
Now that you know how much you spend every month and have made a budget based on that you can maintain your expenses by trying to save some amount of money in each category. Try simple things like cutting short on your eating out habits, buying monthly supplies in bulk to get discounts, minimizing use of electricity and refraining from spending on unnecessary items.
Abide by the budget
It may seem pretty hard but becomes quiet easy once you get used to it. Practice the above steps and stop letting yourself slip. This will not only increase your savings but also help you maintain your expenses easily.