Plan to Spend Your Money

All the things we do with money can fit into these three categories.  So, it is okay to spend your hard-earned, worked for, money; all I am saying is to plan to spend your money.

One of the reasons why we fail at managing our money is because quite often we do not plan to spend money.  Now, to that you may say, it’s my money, and I will do what I want with it.  I worked hard for it and it’s okay to spend it.  And you are right; it is okay to spend your hard-earned money.  But before you spend that money, read the rest of this. 

If you really think about it, money is only good for three things, and we have all done them. 

Money is good for:  spending, saving, and giving, that’s it.  All the things we do with money can fit into these three categories.  So, it is okay to spend your hard-earned, worked for, money; all I am saying is to plan to spend your money.

So, what happens if you do not plan to spend your money?  You spend money at places and on things that you did not plan to spend money on.  It’s that simple.  Have you ever gone into a store and spent more money than you planned to spend? 

That’s it, it happens every day. 

When we do not plan to spend our money, we allow others to take control and spend our money.  You are not managing your money effectively because you are not planning to spend it.         

When you go to the grocery or the pharmacy and you get to the checkout, do you plan to buy that magazine or that candy bar?  We are visual beings and if we see something we like most of the time we will buy it. 

You may think that that is not a lot, but if you do this every day, that is buy something that you did not plan to, it adds up.  Let’s say that in an average month, you spend $5 a week on magazines and candy bars at the checkout.  It does not seem like much but over time it grows. 

Five dollars a week works out to be $20 a month and, in a year, you spent $240 on candy bars and magazines or whatever.     

So what happens if you plan to spend your money?  When you plan to spend your money, you have a spending plan or budget, and you know where you are spending your money.  You know how much money you are spending, and you are not haphazardly spending money on things and in places you did not plan on. 

When you plan to spend your money, through your spending plan, you are telling your money where to go and what to do.  You have complete control of your finances. 

We have already established that it is okay to spend your money, so it is okay to spend $20 on magazines and candy bars. I just want you to plan to spend that $20 on magazines and candy bars. 

It is important that you plan to spend your money.  When you do not, you give control of spending your money to others.  When you plan to spend your money, you take control of your financial situation.  The choice is yours – choose to plan to spend.       

Communicating About Money

We all attach emotions to money. Emotions such as freedom, trust, self-esteem, guilt, indifference, envy, security, comfort, power, and control.

When dealing with money, we bring patterns, beliefs, and attitudes that were present and observed from our families.

I do, you do, we all connect strong emotions to money when communicating about money.

We all attach emotions to money.  Emotions such as freedom, trust, self-esteem, guilt, indifference, envy, security, comfort, power, and control

When dealing with money, we bring patterns, beliefs, and attitudes that were present and observed from our families.  I know I did.

Author Judith Viorst suggests that becoming responsible and adept at managing our money represents a true passage into adulthood.  And this would include communicating effectively with significant others about money.  Addressing questions openly and calmly can help keep emotions in check. 

Additionally, try separately writing down the answers to the following questions.  Once completed, schedule a time to meet and discuss.  This could be a very effective way to begin the money discussion with significant others. 

  1.  What is my biggest money worry today?
  2. What are we doing well financially?
  3. Is there an issue in our finances that I would like to understand better?
  4. If we need to cut back our spending, what three areas are off-limits and what three could be changed?
  5. What money issues do we avoid and how can we bring them into the open?

Can you think of other questions that would be good to ask when communicating about money?  Comment below and let us know what you think. 

Track Your Spending to Manage Money Better

I believe that if you do not, track your income and expenses, you are not successfully managing your money because you do not know where you are spending it; you do not know where it is going and therefore you cannot – effectively manage it.  

Tracking your spending is a must if you want to do better with money. 

I believe that if you do not, track your income and expenses, you are not successfully managing your money because you do not know where you are spending it; you do not know where it is going and therefore you cannot – effectively manage it.  

Tracking your spending, on the surface, appears to be pretty straightforward and simple, but it can be a complex process and quite difficult

It is the consistency that tracking your spending requires that is the hard part and makes it difficult and overwhelming.   

To help fight this difficulty, you need to get into the habit of consistently recording your expenses.  Use some type of log to record the expense.

Whatever you use as a log, a piece of paper, some type of register, or a spreadsheet, every time you receive money, you should record it in the log. 

Whether it’s from a paycheck or gambling winnings, record it in the log.  And every time you spend money, whether it is a bill or that cup of morning coffee, record it

Track Your Spending Every time, every time, every time!

Tracking your spending helps to make your money and you’re spending more real.  You will begin to see it come in and go out and see it as a tool to help you achieve your goals.

It will give you a sense of control.  

Your awareness of your money and your behavior with money will sharpen, allowing you to make changes to improve your financial situation. 

This is an important skill with money. 

Here are a few tips to help you in tracking your spending:

  • Make it a routine.  Once you get into the habit of tracking your spending, it will become easier.  And always, do what works for you.  No one system is perfect for everybody. The important thing is to track your spending.  How you do this is up to you!
  • Be more careful with transactions that are easily forgotten.  Some transactions, online transactions, transactions without a receipt, can be quickly forgotten. Take special steps to remember these. 
  • Get a receipt for everything.  There are not too many places where you can spend money and not get a receipt.  If they do not give you one, ask for one.  Additionally, make it a habit of putting all your receipts in one place so that you know where to find them and do not forget where you put them.
  • It is best to record your transactions daily.  Although you can track expenses once a week, you may find this hard to do.  By tracking expenses daily, you do not run into the problems that you would by tracking them weekly such as I can’t remember a transaction or can’t find a receipt, etc.

For some, recording expenses will make you more connected to what you spend

It will make you think more about each purchase, and you will begin to see if your purchases line up with your values.  This may help you to keep unnecessary spending under control.   

Tracking your spending is a rewarding process. 

It will paint a picture of your spending habits as they exist and not as you think they exist.  You can then use this information to create a spending plan, or, at the least, to serve as a picture of where your money actually goes.

How do you track your spending?  Share your thoughts and subscribe to the GoldenRules Blog and learn how to create a winning spending plan for you and your family.