Everyone is guilty of spending money that we do not have on things that we want, but do not need. A perfect example of this is coffee. Something so cheap and minuscule could not possibly make a noticeable dent in our wallets, right?
Think about it: if you get coffee every morning before work, during your lunch, and at least once on the weekend, that's 11 cups of coffee per week. You may even be drinking more than that. Assuming each cup costs around $3.50, 11 cups of coffee per week will total around $38.50 per week - much more than you probably thought you were spending on a cup of joe. If you are struggling with your expenses, it may be time to make some changes in your everyday life. Although running to Starbucks each morning may be a part of your routine, it can be contributing to your financial stress. You don't have to make huge sacrifices to get yourself back on track with your money, but you may have to make some small changes.
First thing is first, start a spending diary. You may be wondering what, exactly, that is. Well, it is basically a journal to write down all of your expenses, bills, paychecks, and responsibilities. It is basically a way to keep yourself organized, while also seeing where the bulk of your money is going. Be sure to write down a calendar of when your paychecks are coming, and how much they will be. Doing this will allow you to see what you have coming in and if you will have enough for bills and prior engagements. On your calendar you can also put the dates that bills are due. This will help you to keep track of your bills so they aren't late. Knowing the exact dates these things are coming up will also allow you to make sure you have the money to pay them.
Next is the most important part, the “spending” part of the spending diary. Each day, for at least a few weeks, write down each thing you purchase during the day. This can be coffee, gas, lunch, groceries, etc. After a few weeks of doing this, you'll notice a trend in your spending. If there are things sucking up a large portion of your paycheck, you may want to consider alternatives. For example, we’ve shown you that coffee, although cheap, can take a lot of money out of your wallet. You may want to think of purchasing an in-home coffee maker if you don't have one already. This will save you loads of cash. By doing this, you will have to put out the money for the initial purchase of the coffee maker. It will, however, help you save on coffee runs for the long haul. You will be surprised by how much of a positive change this will make towards your savings.
After a few weeks of making changes and staying organized, it is possible that you're still in a bit of a bind. You may, at this point, want to consider taking out a loan. Title loans, for example, can help you get back onto your feet and allow some wiggle room that you may not have had before. Using these tips and tricks should hopefully help you get a fresh start and take back financial control over your life.