Monday, July 26, 2010

Leaking Money?

Hello friends! Happy Monday! I hope you all had a lovely weekend - sorry for the lack of posts recently. I think it's what's called "summer plans". :) Anyway, trying to be better and don't be too upset.

So leaking anything is never good (unless there's a chocolate fountain that's sprung a leak). Now that I'm a homeowner, the word "leak" sends chills down my spine, as does "hole", "repair" or "sinking foundation". How would you feel if I told you that you have a money leak? Well, chances are you probably have one! According to a recent study in SELF magazine, people cannot account for an average of $1100 a year! This comes mainly from incidental expenses that add up over time.

For me, I definitely leak money when I have cash. Since I rarely have it (I put everything on a credit card), when I do have a few bucks in my wallet, it's gone! I had $60 in cash this time last week, and now I have $13. I went to the farmers' market and spent $8.50 on berries, lemonade and the most amazing chocolate chip cookie, I spent $2 on parking at my doctor's office, $15 at the grocery store and the remaining $22, I have no idea. And this is someone who actually pays attention to where her money goes...or tries to, anyway. If I did that every week, I'd lose track of $1144 a year, just like the average person! Eek!

So what can I do to stop leaking money? Well, for one, I know cash doesn't work for me - I can't track it and it seems to disappear easier. Another thing is keeping in check those little things that seem to add up. There's nothing wrong with dinner and drinks with friends, a movie date with Junior Mints, or getting those shoes (on sale, hopefully). But it comes with a trade-off - you're further away from your savings goals. Every time you have a questionable purchase, ask yourself, "Do I really need this?". If the answer is yes, do it! If not, don't. It's that simple.

Do you leak money? How do you keep focused?

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