Where is your money going?

Yesterday we kicked off "30 Days to Get Started." This week we are focusing on getting out of debt.  Yesterday we discussed facing your debt number head on

If you followed yesterday's lesson and you sat down and wrote out every piece of debt you had, that number might be a little overwhelming.

Today we are going to talk about tracking where your everyday dollars are going and how that factors into your priorities.

Having a list of where your money is going, of where you're spending your hard earned cash, is like a black and white picture of your priorities.

Obviously you have to pay your mortgage or your rent. You have to put gas in your car, clothe your kids and feed your family.

But, and this is going to sound harsh, if you're spending $3 a day on coffee and putting $0 in savings something is wrong. If you have a satellite package but no retirement plan, something is wrong.

It is vitally important for you to determine and decide how you are going to spend your money short term and long term. The short term might be things like getting out of debt, saving for vacation, buying back to school clothes.

The long-term might be (also) getting out of debt, buying a home, planning for college and retirement.

But the short-term VERY MUCH impacts the long-term. And if our short-term desire to buy a new purse, go on an expensive vacation or hit up every sale at Target isn't reigned in our long-term goals are dust in the wind.

I am not saying that any of those things are bad or evil. I LOVE a good Target sale. But what I am saying is don't let what you want right now color your entire future.

But where are some places you could cut back?

I am not talking about the usual places everyone talks about like going out to eat or cable. I am talking about those things you might not think about like that extra stop by the grocery store to pick up milk and $20 worth of other stuff you didn't need but was on sale.

Or maybe that great deal at CVS that required you to spend $8.97 on stuff you didn't need in order to get a $5 coupon.

Are there some places you can cut back?

I recommend a spending freeze, this is a great way to determine where your money is going and where it could be better saved. Decide for one month you are ONLY going to buy groceries, gas and pay your bills.

We first did this in February of 2014 and we ended up saving a few hundred in one month! We had no idea we were wasting so much money. 

Sometimes you might think you have nowhere else to cut back and you don't even realize where your budget is leaking money.

There are several ways to track your spending, you can either carry a notebook and write down  every where you spend every penny. Or you could use an app like EveryDollar

You might end up being really surprise where your money is going and where you are wasting funds. 

What about you? What method do you use to track your cash?