The biggest change I made is that I have been much more consistent with recording the amount of money I have been spending. I have been pretty good about actually making a budget, but the only way you can tell if you are following a budget is if you know how much you actually spend. (It's the cash outlays that will trip you up every time.)
The best thing about honestly setting down what you think you will spend in a given year, is that you can tell if you are setting yourself up for failure. After figuring my 2010 budget, when all was said and done, I was actually planning on spending about $1,000 more than I was making.
While it was true that I could have cut things out, I'm pretty close to the bone as it is, so I decided instead that I would just earn an extra thousand dollars. Here are some of the ways I have done this over the last year:
- Mystery Shopping
- Selling Books
- Clinical Trials
*Effection is a real word; I looked it up.