Do you know how much money you are spending on food, shopping or gas? Better yet, do you know where your money is going or how much money you have in your bank or pocket?
A recent survey on the annual Economy and Personal Finance by Gallup revealed that only one in three Americans keep track of their spending, which makes the majority mostly unaware of where their money goes.
But one thing stands out from the results of the survey, those earning $75,000 annually and up are the most likely to keep a detailed breakdown of budgets and expenses.
This is the same group who take advantage of financial advisers or accountants to help with financial planning, such as the ones you can avail from financial wellness programs for employees.
Keeping Spending at Bay
The Bureau of Labor Statistics, based on data from the agency, revealed that the “big three” spending areas of a typical American are on housing, transportation, and food. This is followed by social security or personal insurance, healthcare, utilities, and entertainment.
These figures should concern you if you want to become financially healthy and you have to take the first step of rethinking your spending habits.
Know your Limits- Create A Budget
Going back to the Gallup survey, one of the factors responsible for the lack of budget consciousness among Americans is the advent of technology. The convenience of going online to check your bank balance or easy access to credit has caused increased spending for most people.
Web apps or online productivity tools are a dime a dozen over the internet nowadays promising to help you manage your income and expenses. This may have played a role in making people rely more on technology to handle everything for them.
However, such tools have a general function rather than provide you with a customized financial planning method catered to address conditions not covered within the parameters of the app or online tool.
The Gallup folks agree that each one should still be budget-conscious to ensure you have visibility over your cash flow and allow you to make drastic adjustments in spending when necessary.
How Do I Start?
Take every opportunity to be well-acquainted with your company’s employee wellness programs. You may not be aware of it, but a significant portion of these programs include consultancy sessions with financial advisers to help you stay on top of your finances.
Of course, you need to do your part as well and resolve to make sure that you heed the advice lest it could amount to nothing.
Start Small and Work Your Way Up
Based on the statistical data from BLS, you need to start making changes and make a firm commitment to stay financially healthy. You can start by trying to reduce your fixed spending. Which means you can try to find ways to adjust your spending habits on food, transportation, and housing.
Look for more practical methods such as spending a day or two a week to commute to work, see if you can find more affordable food alternatives when doing your groceries. If you are renting a spacious flat, try to look for living space that you could maximize instead of having empty rooms just gathering cobwebs.
There are a lot of ways you could try start to be financially healthy so begin to reconsider all your options. Do not worry about starting small because you start with baby steps and gather pace as you move along.
Once you have started your quest for financial health, you’ll be surprised on a day to see the results and how it will impact your life.