Skills Academy: 4 Ways to Kick Your Senseless Spending

Stop your wasteful spending with these tips from Raccoon Valley Bank
If you asked a room full of people who wanted to earn more money, chances are everyone in that room would raise their hand. But raises and getting a second job are not always easy. However, there is a way to “earn” more money without actually making more.
In today’s Raccoon Valley Bank Skills Academy post, we’ll show you how to eliminate your senseless spending so it will feel like you have more income. All it takes is a little responsibility, planning and delayed gratification to get you on track.
Tip #1- Make a Budget
If it sounds like we talk about creating a budget a lot, that’s because it is a very basic, but vitally important part of financial management.
Do this: collect receipts for everything you purchase for a month spending like you normally would. After the month, compile your receipts and categorize your spending. Where can you make cuts? From there, establish your budget and stick to it.
Tip #2- Be Smart About Sales
Who doesn’t love a good sale? Even the most experienced shoppers need to be smart about sales. If a shirt is normally $40, but is marked down to $10, don’t purchase four of them. The point is to save money, not spend the same amount.
Do this: Keep this saying in your head: “If you don’t need it, don’t buy it.” In the above situation, spending the same amount as you would’ve without the sale invalidates the sale. Buy one or two of the shirts and save the rest of the money you would’ve spent for something else.
Tip #3- Use Cash when Possible
Cash is still king; in a pinch, it is still the only form of payment accepted everywhere. It can also help keep you from spending more than you should because you can actually see it leave your hand when you use it, as opposed to using a debit card.
Do this: Based on the budget you made, take out a lump sum of cash to be used for your expenses (except for high bills such as rent, car payments, etc.). Watching hundreds of dollars dwindle away over the course of the month can shock you into spending smarter.
Tip #4- Stop and Think Before Checking Out
One of the largest recurring expenses we have is buying groceries. However, Americans waste 40 percent of the food they buy, so there may be room to cut down on the grocery bill.
Do this: Set your list and a limit for your grocery shopping before heading to the store. While at the store, don’t cruise up and down aisles; grab only what is on your list. Before checking out, look at your cart and for each item ask yourself, “Do I really need this?” If you come in under your spending limit, stick the remainder in your savings account. By doing this each week, you can save quite a lot over the course of a year.
It’s time to stop wondering where your money went. By using a budget, shopping sales smartly, using cash and stopping to think before making a purchase, you can curb your senseless spending and do more with the same income.

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