At Diversified Members Credit Union, we’re proud to serve clients in a huge variety of ways. While many of our clients are in need of assistance with specific programs like auto and home loans or various account types, others are looking for more general assistance with their finances — and a good example of this is people who need some help managing their money and breaking bad habits in this area.
If you’re in this group, don’t despair! Many people have some level of trouble managing their money; this isn’t a problem unique to you. In addition, we can offer a number of tips on breaking bad money management habits and moving forward in productive ways — let’s do so in this two-part blog series by identifying some of the most common such habits, plus some tips on how to correct or move past them.
Improper or Lack of Spending Tracking
One of the most important themes that should be maintained as you manage your money is a basic tracking of where it goes. Too often people don’t do this, and as a result they don’t really know where their money is going or how much is left over at the end of each month. This leads to all sorts of bad habits, such as spending frivolously or not being able to save for long-term goals.
Moving forward, look for simple ways to hold yourself accountable and track your spending. This can be as easy as writing down each purchase you make in a small notebook, or using one of the many budgeting apps that are available today. Doing this on a daily or weekly basis will help you to get into the habit of tracking your spending and make it second nature.
This may seem like a relatively minor area, but for some people it’s actually a major issue. In fact, the Natural Resources Defense Council reports that most people in the United States waste up to 40 percent of the food they purchase, and this costs families an average of $1,500 per year.
Food waste can happen for a variety of reasons: we may buy too much, not use leftovers properly, or forget about food in the fridge until it goes bad. Whatever the reason may be, it’s important to correct this habit if you want to save money and be more mindful of your food purchases.
One way to do this is by creating a meal plan each week and sticking to it as closely as possible. This will help you to buy only the items you need for each recipe, and will also help you to use up any leftovers. Additionally, make sure to keep an eye on the expiration dates of your food and eat or discard items before they go bad.
In part two of our series, we’ll go over areas like savings, retirement planning and more. To learn about this or any of our credit union services, speak with the pros at Diversified Members Credit Union today.