Day one of my personal Jump Start January was deliberately designed to be very quick and simple. I’ve started a spending diary. It’s something anyone can do, and it’s as easy as anything.
Just keep a note of everything you spend each day over the next month. It doesn’t need to include your household bills, just the money you spend from day to day on bits and bobs, groceries, coffees, cigarettes, magazines, going out, taxis, gifts and so on. Write it all down there and then if possible, as it’s likely you’ll forget purchases if you leave it for longer than a day or so.
Use a couple of sheets of paper, a notebook, a page in an organiser, a memo list on your phone, or a smartphone app, whatever’s easiest – preferably something you have with you most of the time when you’re out. You don’t necessarily have to buy something especially for the purpose. I’m using the ‘Notes’ function on my phone to keep track, which is free and can be used to email information to my home computer at the end of each week.
Even the most financially aware and astute amongst us can benefit from a few days of keeping a spending diary. They regularly highlight personal weak spots and areas of overspending and they can also be a prompt to start making a few small changes in your behaviour that can really add up over the course of a year.
Meanwhile, I’m off to the sales. Happy New Year to you all.