Where Did All My Money Go?
It’s the question of the month (or—for many—of the last few years): “Where did my paycheck go?” Even when you take out taxes, the amount of money you make probably seems like it should stretch a lot further than it does. But at the end of every pay period, your account balance dwindles, your bills pile high and your anxiety level hits the roof. Where did it all go?
Today, stick an index card in your wallet and jot down every purchase you make. We mean every purchase—from the pack of gum at the convenience store to the sandwich you picked up for lunch to the drinks you grabbed with friends after work. Continue doing this for one week, add it all up, then tack 25% of your monthly bills to the total. This number is your weekly spending estimate, and it will erase any doubts as to whether there’s really a hole in your billfold.
Be sure to hold on to this information—you’ll need it when you design your budget. But don’t wait to start being frugal. Find small ways you can save money now.
BONUS TIP: Empty your car trunk. The more your car weighs, the more gas it requires to drive around.