No matter who you are, saving money can be difficult. Budgets aren’t the most exciting things in the world, and there are just so many different ways to spend money. Often the urge to spend on a treat, a sale or something else can take a hold of you and before you know it your budget has taken another blow.
So how do you control the spending? Well for me it was simple. My wife and I helped each other be accountable for our spending (this was prior to us being married). What that meant was that we both keep a track of our spending vs our budget. We did that by logging every dollar we spent into a tracking application and then reviewing the outliers at the end of the month.
By introducing someone else to your budget and how you plan on spending you money, it helps to keep you accountable. What ended up happening for me, was that because I knew someone else was watching what I was spending, I was far more cognisant of how and where I was spending my money.
I find my self going to buy something, then stopping. I had that internal monologue telling me that if I went and bought that delicious danish, I would have to report it in our spending tracker, and then potentially justify the expense at the end of the month.
It wasn’t like my wife wasn’t going to crucify me for the way I spent the money, but it was enough for me to take a hold of those little expenses and essentially stomp them out from that point onwards.
It’s amazing how big of a difference it can make when you know someone else will be looking through your finances. All of a sudden every single dollar counted, and for me, I found that I felt as if I was letting others down whenever I spent something when I didn’t need to.
What I ended up discovering was that the majority of the things that disappeared from my spending when I had someone else helping me be accountable, was the little things that cost under $5 – things like sweets, snacks and coffee. Things that I didn’t need, but often ended up buying just because I could.
I would love to hear how you stay accountable. Do you have any tips you would like to share?