What’s eroding your savings potential? - MoneySense

What’s eroding your savings potential?

Life is expensive and much of the money we make is allocated to things like mortgage payments and car payments before it even hits the bank. But every cent you spend is a cent you didn’t save.

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If there seems to be a disconnect between your budget and your bank balance it may be time to get out the magnifying glass and make like Sherlock Holmes.

Time to do some legwork: track your expenses to the penny for a month to get a sense of who the culprits are. It could be that daily coffee that grabs your wallet on the way to work. Or the crap-at-the-counter that dips into your purse when you’re going through the check-out. Maybe it’s an expense you’ve assumed need always remain the same: car or house insurance, or communication costs.  Comparison-shopping on fixed expenses can save you big-time, so make the effort to find a better deal.

Perhaps your problem stems from not understanding the motive for the crime of overspending. Are you so tired from a hard day at work that you can’t be bothered to make dinner? As much as this looks like pleasure spending, it isn’t. You’re trying to compensate for no time and no energy. If you don’t want the solution to your no-time/no-energy problem to cost you big-time, you need to recognize the real problem and come up with a solution. Would meal planning, batch cooking and freezing one weekend a month eliminate the ordering in that suffocates your plans to save?

Or maybe it’s your modus operandi: you get bored, you go shopping; you get depressed, you go shopping; you want to spend time with your girlfriends, you go shopping. Recognizing what pushes your buttons or how you feel when you buy something new and changing how you do things could be the ticket to rescuing your savings goals.

It’s easy to let your money escape and then moan about having nothing left to save. But if you’re serious about saving, you’ll put in the time to figure out the crimes you’ve been committing against your budget so you can find the money to save.

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