Ever wonder where your paycheck goes every month? Little purchases like coffee and doughnuts can add up. So it’s important to learn how to improve your spending habits. Actually, one of my New Year’s resolutions is to curb my spending to grow my savings. This week I visited the Dapper Doughnut in St. Louis, MO for a quick treat. After indulging my sweet tooth, I entered the purchase on my new mobile banking app, Finn by Chase. By tracking everyday expenses like this, I’m already on my way to understanding my spending habits so that I can save better. Here’s how you can too:
Step 1: Set a specific financial goal and go after it.
I’ve chosen a specific amount to save by the end of 2018. To start, I’ll whittle away at the little unnecessary expenses I feel guilty about without giving up the things I love (like the occasional doughnut). Saving a dollar here or five dollars there amounts to a lot at the end of the year. With enough discipline, I’ll have myself a little nest egg that I can add to my investments.
Perhaps your goal is to save for a big-ticket item like a laptop or a car. Maybe you want to track your spending habits and see what you can live without. Or your wish is to save a little each month to donate to your favorite charity.
Once you’ve set your goal, you can start to reach it by downloading Finn by Chase on your mobile phone and tracking your purchases on the go.
Step 2: Determine what you really need and focus on minimizing the frivolous expenses.
After reviewing my expenses, I realized that 20% of my budget went to retail shopping and 20% went to eating out. That’s a huge piece of the pie that I can chip away at with some everyday mindfulness.
Looking at my expenses in the big picture is a good wake up call. But overcoming the urge to buy something you want and don’t need is a daily battle. The best way to do this is to simplify things. Whenever you make an expense, ask yourself, “Is it a need or a want?”
The Finn by Chase mobile bank has a special feature for this. When you record your expense, select if it’s a need or a want. Even add an emoji face to visualize how the purchase makes you feel. Once you’ve done this for a while, Finn will reveal trends in your spending habits in an easy to use chart. You can identify your regular expenses and opportunities to improve your spending habits.
Step 3: Automate your savings.
If you’ve got a want that you just can’t part with, certainly feel free to mark it with a smiley face emoji. I plan to mark all my doughnut purchases at Dapper Doughnut with a smiley face. Sweet treats are not something I’ll realistically give up, but I can make them a positive part of my savings plan. (Alternatively, I’ll probably mark my KFC binge runs with a frown face because those make me feel guilty.)
Whenever I make a purchase at Dapper Doughnut, I can tell Finn to automatically transfer $5 from my checking to savings account. Feel free to do this for any of your regular purchase locations and watch your savings account grow.
By simplifying the process, Finn actually helps make banking and finance an enjoyable experience. Its intuitive tools make it easier to save on the go, understand spending habits, and make more informed choices.
Find more information or sign up for an account here. Plus receive $50 as a sign up bonus! And don’t forget to visit the new Dapper Doughnut for the best bite size doughnuts in St. Louis. Get the nutella ones – you won’t regret it!
This post is in paid partnership with Chase. All opinions are my own.