One of the most insidious things about money is how quickly it can slip through your hands and into the hands of someone else. One grocery shopping trip, a couple of checks out for the utilities, and suddenly you don’t have any left. That is why it really pays to set up a system where you know how and where every single dollar is going in your household. It is amazing that someone else can come in and look at your budget and spending and get a completely different perspective and idea than what you can see yourself. They can spot the holes in the bucket; you just have to train yourself to do the same.
When we have to stop and look over our finances, most people moan and groan and do not want to have to cut anywhere in their spending. But, if you come into this action with a bad attitude; that is what you will get back out of it. You will have more trouble coming up with solutions because you are looking at all of the problems instead. One of the best reminders you can take with you when rearranging your finances is this thought: at least you have finances to rearrange!
By now I think everyone who has had to cut back on spending has become familiar with budgeting and keeping track of money going out every month. The problem starts when you become biased about what stays and what goes and it is always a good idea to talk it over with a trusted friend or relative who may have a different take on the matter. I can’t tell you how many people swear they need 500 cable channels, and yet they are only home for a few hours a week because they are busy working the rest of the time. Having a second opinion (that you know and trust) can give you a new outlook you may not have seen.
The one word that says spending money more than any other is shopping. Some people love to shop and some hate it, but eventually we all have to shop for something. There are times when shopping is so automatic that it is like you are in a deep fog and can’t even remember what you came in the store for in the first place; you just know you have to run to the store and buy something. Shopping whether in a physical store or online or even through the mail can be an addictive habit that we do without ever assessing the damage to our pocket books. There have even been many people who behind closed doors have admitted to even ordering things from the cable infomercials at 3:00 a.m. And yet, these people would never do something like that during their wide awake hours.
So, in essence keeping a vigilant eye on every dollar coming in and every dollar going out is your best defense to stop any “holes in the bucket” because money has a way of going out the door without notice.