Everyone should know that trying to save the leftover scraps of a paycheck never works.
Reverse that recipe for failure by 180 degrees.
Plan to save most of your paycheck and leave the leftover scraps for discretionary amusements.
- Each transaction can risk a “leak”: In olden days before direct deposit of paychecks, you cashed out each weekly paycheck before depositing anything (sometimes minutes before, sometimes a week before), so there was a risk to hold on to your pay as cash and then fritter away the money. If you visit the ATM more than you visit your family, there is a temptation to round-up your spending “needs” at each ATM visit and then fritter away the overestimate (plus maybe pay fees each time).
- The invisible minus: Credit and debit cards are even more tempting to spend than cash because you do not do an actual tit-for-tat physical exchange at the purchase. Instead of having to leave cash behind in the store, you get your card back plus the new stuff.
The solutions are:
- Minimize the number of transactions/handling.
- Make debits highly visible at the time of purchase and after the spending euphoria fades.
- Pay cash or record your shrinking account balance at time of purchase.
- Post every receipt on the refrigerator (a cluttered refrigerator should tell you something—no, not to buy a bigger fridge).
- Get cash once a month for the entire month and seal your weekly gifts to yourself in an envelope.
What method works for you?
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