Do You Have a Leak in Your Wallet?
by Linda Jacob
Are you someone who has more month than money? Ever go to the ATM machine, take out $40.00 and two days later you have no idea where your money went? If you are, you may have a leak in your wallet. It’s those little things, a couple bucks here or there, it’s no big deal, right? Well, if you want to find the leak, take these simple steps.
- Go to your checking account and get a 30-day history.It doesn’t really matter what 30 days, just as long as they are consecutive.
- Every time money came out of your account, categorize it.Get a piece of paper and make the headings that are unique to you.You will most likely have Groceries, Eating Out, Gas, Utilities, etc.
- Under each heading, put the dollar amount you spent.Be as specific as possible. If you went to the gas station and spent $28.56 don’t put it all under gas if you spend $3.56 on snacks and drinks.
- Total up all the categories.
Is there one that surprised you? If there was, you are not alone. You are like most Americans.
Now that you know where your leak is, you can take steps to get it under control. Ask yourself, “Is this moving me towards my financial goals?”. If not, make some changes. Maybe bring a coffee from home each day instead of stopping at the coffee shop, or pack a lunch three times a week and only go out two for lunch tow times a week.
The thing is you have to know what it is in order to change it. Categorizing your spending will put you in a position to think about it and start doing things differently. Then, the leak will stop and you are on your way to becoming a successful money manager!