Plugging spending leaks
Sometimes money seems to leak out of your pockets and disappear. Perhaps you start out the week on a Sunday with $40 in your wallet, and by Wednesday afternoon you realize it’s gone—and you have nothing to show for it. Where does it go?
Watching yourself spend
One thing you can do is record your spending activities throughout the day. You can use a small notebook or save notes in your cellphone. This will help you pinpoint where those small expenditures are going. If you mark down small purchases as you make them, you'll learn to think of each one as a single, purposeful act. Disappearing cash will cease to feel like something that magically “happens” to you, and those convenience store sodas and movie tickets you pick up on impulse will be revealed for what they are: spending leaks.
Dealing with spending leaks
Spending leaks keep you from staying on budget and from saving. To plug them, try to adopt at least two of these five spending control techniques:
1. Leave your credit card at home.
2. Instead of attending movies, go to free campus concerts and plays.
3. Use your bike instead of your car two or three days a week.
4. Carry a refillable water bottle instead of purchasing soft drinks or coffee drinks.
5. Limit the number of songs, ringtones, etc., you download.