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Cha-Ching! Simple Tips to Keep Your Savings Plan on Track

shopping 92817343As anyone who likes to shop can tell you, a quick trip to the mall can turn into a full-blown shopping spree—complete with impulse buys—before you even hit your favorite store. If you’re constantly coming home with items you never intended to buy, you may be doing more harm than good when it comes to keeping your savings plan on track.

Here are five ways to keep your spending under control:

1. Create a budget. In order to be financially stable, your spending must not outpace your earnings. To ensure you’re on the right path, track your spending for a few months to see where you’re spending the most. Then make any necessary adjustments to your spending to bring it in line with your income. Be sure to check your budget every once in a while to make sure you’re still on track.

2. Wants vs. needs. While it’s a great feeling to be able to treat yourself, it’s most important to live within your means. Before you pull out that cash or credit card, determine whether what you’re about to purchase is a ‘want’ or a ‘need.’

3. Keep seasonal spending in check. From holidays to birthdays and everything in between, seasonal spending can put a huge dent in a savings account if you aren’t careful. Take the time to set budgets and priorities before these events roll around.

4. Say ‘no’ to social spending. While it can be fun to meet up with friends and splurge every once in a while, these social spending habits can wreak havoc on your bank account. If you meet up with friends on a consistent basis, consider creating a fixed budget to cover these outings.

5. Teach your kids to be responsible spenders. It’s never too early to talk to your children about money and spending within their means. Be open and honest with your kids and talk to them about your family budget. It’s also important to teach them where the money comes from when you visit the ATM or write a check, along with the importance of paying bills on time.

Source: M&I Financial 

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