As I sat down this morning, like any other morning, I got to thinking what is one step to we can take for our daily success? Well, most of us have no accountability for our daily spending – myself included.
Say you plan $20 a day for your personal spending money, once its gone – it’s gone! We go out to do our daily errands, and stop to fill up our tank; then we get a cup of coffee at the local coffee shop while we review that grocery list we are about to go shopping for.
Without thinking we roll all our money into one pot – grocery, transportation and personal spending – none of which constitutes and EMERGENCY withdrawal from your emergency fund. Well, this happened to me this week – so I know it can easily happen to anyone.
The emergency fund is for EMERGENCIES ONLY! Dave Ramsay, founder of Financial Peace University suggests everyone start with a base emergency fund of $1,000. Personally in our current times I feel that should be double, so we are not tempted to use credit in rough times. But definitely, have that $1000 and leaveit alone.
This week I felt I was going to go over my personal spending limit, so I tapped into my Emergency fund for $60. It makes us feel comfortable to know we have more than we can afford to spend with us at all times. Well, 1 step we can take for our daily success is to start a money journal that we keep on us at all times.
Pick up a standard 4″x6″ standard memo book and write “My Money Spending Journal as if <todays date> on the front cover. Now tuck it in your pocket or purse and anytime you deal with money in your day, stop and write where you are, what you spent, and then make sure to get a physical receipt and tuck in inside the back cover.
If you find you are filling more than the front of a page per day, you are interacting with cash and/or credit too frequently. Over time, you will see a pattern as to where you are spending the bulk of your money. This identifies places in your daily life you need to focus on cutting back.
Just keeping that a little notebook everytime you touch money – whether cash or credit – will help you identify and correct your spending habits. Getting and keeping that physical receipt will serve as proof. It will also help you later when you need to recall everything you spent to enter it into your budgeting software later – my choice of software is, You Need A Budget; but there are others.