I have never been a calorie counter. Never saw the point. Not until I began watching The Biggest Loser and ordered one of Jillian Michaels workout DVD’s, then a few of her books.
Clearly, she works hard for that body and for her health. I didn’t mind the hard work, but I didn’t know a thing about calorie counting and eating healthy. I was clueless how many calories I should be taking in and I couldn’t have guessed what a stick of cheese would count for. There was no way I was going to lose the lingering 20 pounds from my last pregnancy, not unless I learned these things.
I was similarly as ignorant about my spending. When I decided to take on the debt free lifestyle, I had to start from the beginning. How was I going to begin paying off debt and saving when I don’t know where every penny is going?
Once I tracked where my money was going, it became easy to see what I could shave and what I could exclude all together. It was like our family got a big raise only well, we didn’t.
Track your spending like you were a private investigator.
Simply get a notebook and pencil. Start writing down what you spend your money on. The more serious you are, the longer you will (should) track it. Save all your receipts too.
It’s by tracking your pennies you will find the leaks, the windows your money is blowing right out of. Choose to decrease your spending on things like food (restaurants, groceries) by using coupons. Some coupon Mom’s are delirious about this. They spend hours each week matching sales with coupons, but you don’t have to. You can still save big if you simply put some effort into it.
You can exclude some expenses all together. Things like subscriptions, memberships and cell phones. Determine what’s really necessary and prioritize. Likely, you won’t miss that membership when you experience the freedom of being debt free.
The process of writing down every penny you spend alone will open your eyes. You’ll begin to see how small charges here and little purchases there add up to a lot of money. You’ll be automatically resolved to doing something about it once it’s laid out in front of you.
And, if you’re taking in more calories than you are burning, don’t expect to lose any weight.
Do you track your spending?