Money spending habits are hard to break!
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I’ll let you in on a secret – I’m “trying” to spend less money. I say “trying” because I am finding out that it’s easier said than done!
Last month I signed up at Pocketsmith, an application that tracks your spending via synching from your bank accounts. I got the paid version because I know I wouldn’t be bothered with it if I had to manually track every cent – I do enter my wallet cash transactions by hand which is enough for me. I have been running it for around 3 weeks and it’s already surprised me that most weeks I am either nearly in the red or slightly over! Purchases that seem very important just add up over the course of a month and it is proving to me that when I don’t keep track of it all I don’t notice or realise that at the end of the month I actually haven’t saved very much. Which is interesting because for the last 3 weeks I have been very aware of what I have been spending so I hate to think what the balance looks like when I haven’t been thinking about my habits at all!
Nearly every money blog I have read over the years starts with the advice to track what you are spending. We human beings tend to forgot the little things and as I am finding out the little things are accumulating to big things. Like on the weekend, I went out with the intention of buying a glass drink bottle. I went into Mitre 10 and there was the perfect one there with a price tag of $24.99 (NZD). I picked it up, took the lid off to check how easy it was to use and clean. The voice inside my head was arguing “I want it, I need it, it’s going to cost you money, it’s glass so it’s better for you than the plastic one I’m using, I want it.” Finally, I came back to the purpose that I had decided to install for myself a few weeks before – “only buy it if it’s essential otherwise save the money”. I popped it back on the shelf and walk out of the shop and went home empty handed but without spending $24.99 of my hard-earned income. Walking out of that shop without the thing that I had been thinking I needed, I realised that a small buying habit had become a big one. And I realise that I am the only one that can save my money and make that weekly ledger report turn a green colour! And guess what – when I got home, I found that hidden at the back of my cupboard was a glass drink bottle which has now been put to good use on my desk at work. It’s not pretty and it’s a bit old fashioned, but I am $24.99 richer than if I had brought that new one. I guess I saved myself one hour of working for a drink bottle that I never needed in the first place!
Until now I have never found a gadget that will track my income/expenditure for me in an easy way. Some won’t accept a New Zealand Bank Feed, some seem expensive for what they offer, others are just downright complicated! I can’t even remember how I found the Pocketsmith program now (I’m thinking Mr Google might have been helpful), but I am going to use it and see if I can make those number smile – I’ll report back here on the blog every now and again just for the record and let you know the numbers – I need to be kept accountable!
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