Most of us have at least a basic idea of what we should be doing with our money:
- Creating a budget
- Spending less than we earn
- Investing for retirement
Though we all know what we should be doing, there’s a difference between knowing and doing. According to a 2017 CareerBuilder report, 78 percent of American workers are living paycheck to paycheck — and 40 percent can’t cover a $400 emergency.
Those stats are scary, but the bottom line is this: most of us could be doing a little better with our money.
It can be difficult to start making changes with our money, and it can be even more difficult to make sustained changes. Sometimes we don’t need a massive money intervention, we just need a little kick in the pants to help us get it together.
Here are six ways you can challenge yourself to be better with money:
1. Track your spending… by hand
I’ve used Mint, YNAB, and other money tracking tools and I think they’re all great. It’s so easy to sit down at the end of the month or year and see how much you spent, and where.
A few months ago, I challenged myself to track my spending by hand, in real time for a month. I carried around a little notebook and right after I spent money on something, I’d write it down. It was tedious, yes, but so eye-opening. I knew that I pretty much eat my budget each month, but by tracking things by hand and recognizing when I…
Most of us have at least a basic idea of what we should be doing with our money: Creating a budget Spending less than we earn Investing for retirement 40 percent Though we all know what we should be doing, there’s a difference between knowing and doing.
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