Keep a Daily Spending Journal for a Month
Changing habits requires increasing your awareness of bad money habits you need to break. One way to do this is to keep a daily journal of all of your spending — cash, debit and credit transactions — to see where your money is going, said Belinda Rosenblum, president of financial coaching company Own Your Money.
“For most [people], I encourage them to do this for a month to get a more complete picture,” she said. At least, though, try tracking your spending for a week. You’ll likely realize how informative it is and keep going the rest of the month, she said. Then you can pinpoint where your money trickles away — areas where you’re spending too much — and create a plan to plug those leaks. Once you pinpoint how much spending you can eliminate, consider redirecting those funds to savings.