5 signs you’re spending too much

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Worksheet: Track Your Spending

Financial stability isn’t measured by the size of your paycheck; it’s about what you do with it. Knowing exactly where your money is spent each pay period and making sure you’re leaving room for saving is crucial to becoming financially independent. Do any of these thoughts ever cross your mind? If so, you may want to take a look at your budget and reconsider some of your spending.

“How many days until I get paid?”

If you’re scraping together spare change so you can eat at the end of the week, it’s probably because you spent too much on something earlier in your pay period. Make sure you track your spending so you know exactly where your money goes each pay period.

 “Maybe I should get a second job.”

If you have to get a raise or a second paycheck in order to stay afloat, then your current paycheck may not be going to the right places. Find a few areas of spending where you can cut back next month.

“I’ll just put this on my credit card until I get paid.”

Credit cards are great tools to build credit and cover unexpected expenses that come up. But if you’re relying on credit regularly to cover costs until you get paid, you may be hurting your budget in the long run. Remember that you will always have to pay back what you put on your credit card (with interest in most cases), so ask yourself if you can really afford a purchase before swiping.

“Do I have anything I can sell or pawn?”

Sure, if you don’t play that guitar anymore or have things you don’t mind parting with, there’s nothing wrong with selling them. But are you selling items to get quick cash to cover your expenses? If so, it’s probably because you’re spending too much money on the wrong things.

“I don’t really need to go to the doctor.”

Skipping important events like doctor visits because you feel they cost too much means you haven’t planned ahead for these expenses. Don’t forget that neglecting important things such as your health will take a much bigger toll than just on your bank account.

When you receive your paycheck, it’s important to pay yourself first before you pay your bills. Set aside a certain portion of your pay in savings to cover unexpected expenses when they come up. If you’re unable to do that, it’s time to take a look at your spending and identify where you can scale back.

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2 thoughts on “5 signs you’re spending too much

  1. The worksheet you show cut back on electricity but not natural gas.
    What is the difference on these two utilities to allow cutting back on one and not the other?

    • Hi Glenda! For homes that use natural gas, this is certainly an expense worth tracking. Because many of the appliances that use natural gas such as stoves don’t always make it easy to track usage, it’s often difficult to scale back on this particular bill. If you would like to track your natural gas spending, you can take advantage of one of the “Other” line items on the worksheet.

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