My tip for today is an easy one to change to suit your own needs, or even use once or twice during special "spending" spree times of year such as back to school or holidays when losing track of your budget can be so easy to do. Hey.. got a wedding or a big event to pay for coming up? this budgeting tip will work perfect for tracking your spending as you pay for all those tiny little purchases!
So you all remember those old check registers? You probably have boxes of unused ones lying around your house somewhere. Did you know they make those for debit cards?
You can get them for free from your bank.
OK, OK... I know what your thinking... you didn't really use those old registers very well then, and will certainly not use them with a debit card!.. you'll pop your debit card right back in your wallet and walk away.. who's gonna take the time to do all that work, right?
Not me either..
Remember Tip Garden is all about quick and easy /time and money saving ideas, so I will not overwhelm you with the idea to go back to the idea for using those old check registers for every single debit card purchase. that's just crazy talk!! With all the instant, online banking today that seems outdated to many of us. So you may be wondering why I am even mentioning them, right?
What I do propose, is using these debit card registers to track your spending in specific areas, such as Groceries. It so much easier to stay with in budget if you can see how much you have already spent as you go shopping. 1 or 2 extra "milk and bread" runs a month can really throw your budget right out the window due to adding in extra munchies.
Here's how I do it.
- At the beginning of the month I write my alotted budget at the top of the register page.
- Then each time I go to the store, I glance to see what I have remaining of my budget as I shop.
- As I pay for my food, WHEN I GRAB MY DEBIT CARD... I quickly scribble down the amount.
- If you want, you can wait and do it in the car.. but do not leave the parking lot till you have written down the amount you have spent.
You can have different pages of the register for different categories if you want, or even different registers all together.
Your local banks should have them free, you just have to ask for them, but you can buy them online as well. This one from my son's bank is nice, it has a slot to slide your debit card in to hold it.
I purchased these for only 50 cents each and bought them in bulk for a youth group class I was teaching. (plus having them extra for back to school shopping and Christmas shopping budgets was super nice!)
Whether you use this tip all the time or just keep it mind for a one time event like a wedding or for your holiday budget... don't forget those little debit card registers. They're free, they're available,they're ready to use .