Reader's Digest Asia Pacific
How to stop squandering cash
Fed up with squandering your hard-earned cash? Most of the time you know you’re doing it but need a nudge to change your spending ways and start reaching your goals.
MIND THE COMPANY YOU KEEP
We all have them – friends who know how to live it up. While they might be fun to be around, when you’re trying to stick to a budget, it might be worth taking a break from their spendthrift ways. This, of course, doesn’t mean ditching them entirely. Knowing how to recognise their extravagance will help you redirect your focus to the task at hand: saving!
THE THINGS WE DON’T REALLY USE,
such as memberships and subscription services, are among the biggest ways that we can lose track of where our cash goes. To get a sense of how much you do this, grab a highlighter pen and take a look at your bank statements. If you’re seeing recurring payments you don’t recognise, find out what they are, and cancel them if you don’t need them.
ADOPT THE 30-DAY RULE
to learn the difference between wants and needs. For example, you’re out shopping and spot something that you would really like to buy: a pair of expensive sports shoes. Instead, you adopt a wait-and-see approach. The 30-Day Rule basically involves waiting a month to test whether you want to spend the money on the shoes. It’s a great way of setting boundaries and rules about discretionary spending.
DOWNLOAD A FINANCE-TRACKING APP
to your smartphone to manage both your money and your spending. Popular apps include Spendee ($2.99 for iPhone and free for Android) and Toshl (free for all platforms). These and similar apps allow you to set reminders to pay your bills and monitor where your cash is going.