With online banking and online current accounts becoming more popular in modern society, more of us than ever have access to real time spending information and easy money management technology. Still, with all these wonderful apps and gizmos available, many of us are still happy to dodge the reality of our financial situation until absolutely necessary.
If you’re part of the “out of sight, out of mind” crowd that like to check their bank balance every few weeks when they’ve built up the courage, you’re likely doing yourself a disservice. If you choose to face up to your finances every day, you can build techniques and practices that could help you save a considerable amount of money.
Here’s why keeping regular tabs on your finances makes a lot of sense.
Know where your money is going & take control of your spending
With our wallets and purses filled with debit and credit cards, and our phones ready to pay for us as well, it’s way too easy to lose track of your spending on a monthly, weekly and even daily basis. However, if you commit to keeping track of where your money is going each month, you’ll be able to create changes that can help you.
A regular analysis will help you to understand your spending habits, and areas of frivolous spending, which you’ll be able to cut back on and redistribute more sensibly. It will help you live within your means and not spend more than you bring in each month — one of the true fundamentals of basic money management. Furthermore, it will allow you to identify any questionable charges and unwanted direct debits, which you can query and adjust according.
All in all, looking at things more often will allow you to truly take control of your spending, which will benefit you greatly.
Work towards your goals
If you don’t have some financial goals, set some — they’ll give you a focus to aim towards, which will help you curb poor financial habits. Setting goals and having a financial awareness forces you to prioritise your spending, make tougher and more disciplined decisions and move away from frittering away your monthly pay cheque.
It might sound a bit boring to become more regimented in your financial practices, but your future self will thank you for it. Avoiding careless spending now can enable you to afford something you truly want in the future — and behaving sensibly will only get easier as the months go by.
Stay aware of the important numbers
We’ve all been there at the cash machine, maybe in the midst of a night out, maybe in the middle of a shopping trip. The ever-helpful question from the ATM: “Would you like to see your bank balance?”
Answer: absolutely not.
If this sounds familiar, you’re ducking reality in favour of benefitting yourself in the very short term. Get used to facing up to your bank balance, along with your big direct debits and major spends. The more familiar you are with the big numbers, the easier it will be to understand when you’re on track for a good month or need to tighten things up a bit. Again, it goes back to the fundamentals of not spending more than you earn, and the key to that is staying lucid to your financial situation.
No one said maintain a financially sound position in today’s economic climate is easy, but that’s no excuse for not doing your best to keep control of your personal finances. If you’re yet to start making regular checks and adjustments on your finances and spending, then don’t bury your head in the sand any longer.
It might be tough to begin with but getting to grips with your money will stand you in good stead for the long term.