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Tuesday, February 12, 2013 |

Buying Too Much? Go On a Spending Diet

Does this ever happen to you? Recently, I logged into my online banking after a few weeks of not checking it on a regular basis. Normally, I’m great about keeping track of how much money I have in my checking account at any given time. But I haven’t been so careful about it lately, so the balance staring back at me was a bit of a surprise. It was only then that I realized that I’d gone a little overboard with my spending lately.

It happens to all of us, but what’s the best solution? For me, it’s a spending diet. I need to be more mindful about where my money goes during the next month. That means paying close attention to some of the spending habits that tend to sneak up on me:

  • Weekday lunch and coffee. I love treating myself to lunch or a cup of coffee outside of the office to break up the day. But these habits are eating up my cash. My goal is to bring my own lunch and beverages from home for the next month. I’ll be able to spend the same amount for one week of lunches as I typically would on one lunch out.
  • Online shopping. I fully admit that I love to shop. But lately, I’ve been a little too quick to check out the latest online sale that hits my inbox. I plan to unsubscribe from some of those all-too-tempting promotional emails from my favorite stores. They make it way too easy to spend without a second thought.
  • Movie and music downloads. I’m a major movie buff and spend quite a bit on online film rentals. Each one can cost about $4 to rent. I’m also way too quick to purchase any music I think I might like. One album can cost $10 to $15. I need to start limiting myself: Only one movie download each week, and only one new album each month.

We all have those little spending habits that can add up to a low account balance if we’re not careful. With a little more mindfulness, I’m hoping my spending diet helps rebuild my funds!

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