If you find yourself running out of money before you run out of days until your next paycheck, you’re not alone. In fact, even people who earn tons of money find themselves in this situation every month. And the reason they do is because they have no idea where all their money went.
To figure that out, start with a money diary. Every time you buy or pay for something, write it down. This includes everything from your mortgage and car payment to something as small as a candy bar. Then at the end of the month, take a look and see where all your money is going. Now look to see which expenses you can reduce or eliminate — like that large cup of fancy coffee every morning.
Once you find and reduce frivolous expenditures, take that money you would normally spend on them and deposit it into your savings account for a rainy day fund.
Next, establish a budget. Most financial experts recommend the 50/30/20 budget. 50% of your after-tax dollars on necessities like a mortgage, groceries, and other bills. 30% on wants like clothing and eating out. And 20% on savings and debt repayment. Tracking expenses and living on a budget may take some getting used to in the beginning, but over time it will give you a better financial future.