Review the Year and Your Expenses

Controlling spending is huge, so start by looking at your monthly expenses. Knowing what you’re actually spending, and making regular adjustments to your budget based on this information, is critical for getting ahead financially. If you don’t have all your receipts, credit card statements and bank statements can help recreate where your money went, especially if you use your debit card for purchases. Group similar expenses together into categories, such as groceries, entertainment, clothing, etc. you might think that hobbies, entertainment, and dining out are inconsequential, but they can add up to big bucks over time.

Once you have a realistic idea of how you spend your money, you can start to create a fact-based budget. If you’re spending more than you can realistically afford to, give yourself a limit for each category. If your budget is fact-based and you are honest with yourself, staying within your budget will be much easier.

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