This is post #5 from the 30 Day Personal Finance Challenge: Boost Your Financial Health with a Daily Tip!
Does this sound familiar? You received your paycheck and continued blissfully with your life – “Everything is fine. I have enough”. Only to discover shortly after that your checking account has drained…
The most mysterious part is when you look back, you don’t account for any big purchases.
Or maybe you know really well about these items/trips/gadgets that you can’t afford but you bought nevertheless …
Where did all the money go?! Do you have the courage to face it the naked truth?
This has been happening a lot to me. I was baffled and I set myself on a quest to find out where the money goes. I decided to discipline myself and note down every single expense I made.
Suddenly all kinds of forgotten goods, services, and items I had purchased started to become obvious to me – “Oh, there is the premium gym I never go to … and the fancy dinner with friends. Last month I also bought 2 expensive illustrated books and I went to the spa.” There is nothing wrong with going to the spa, as long as you are aware how it affects your budget.
When I summed it all up, it was obvious that not only was I depleting my monthly income but I was also heavily in overdraft. My bank was perfectly okay with that. They were getting a good interest on my draft. I felt no pain to ever pay it off. I discovered my net worth was negative and nooo, it wouldn’t get better at the next paycheck.
At first, I was gathering receipts and noting down the expenses on paper. After a while, I discovered the Toshl app which is a real delight to use. If you don’t have it, I highly recommend it. You can do most of the tracking with the free version. But the Toshl Pro is also worth it.
Soon I was able to identify where the leakages were. I started to devise strategies what I can reduce and where I can get more economical options. I knew approximately how much I needed per month and I was constantly learning how to live with less.
The best part was that I felt a sudden sense of freedom! I was finally in control of my financial life!
So, what are you waiting for? Start noting things down and let me know in the comments below how this strategy worked for you.