"Downsize" Your Spending: Taking Inventory of Your Spending Habits

December 8, 2017

It’s impossible to ignore that “downsizing” is actually kind of a thing right now. From tiny houses, to car engines, to the soon-to-be released Matt Damon and Kristen Wiig blockbuster taking the concept to a science fiction extreme, it seems the trend is here to stay for the foreseeable future.  So, we here at The Dime thought we should just embrace it—and translate it to our wheelhouse. Behold: Our suggestions for helping you “downsize” your spending in the new year.

  1. Start by taking an inventory of your spending habits. Now’s a good time to tap into the tools you use to manage your money. Track how much of your paycheck is going toward essentials versus your discretionary spending.
  2. Once you have an idea of where your money is going each month, try making some minor adjustments that can add up over the year. Maybe you become your own barista: purchase that espresso machine you’ve been eyeing so you can make your own caffeinated drinks at home rather than shelling out $5 on your way to the office every day. Are there other larger costs you can live without, i.e. DirecTV or the like?
  3. Identify your spending weaknesses. What are your temptations? Is dining out important because you’re a foodie and you value the experience? If so, awesome—but then try to be frugal in other areas. If you’ve gotten in the habit of grabbing takeout on your way home from the gym every night, perhaps try planning your meals ahead of time, and sticking to a budgeted grocery list. Or maybe you and your friends like catching up over dinner; how about inviting them over for a pot luck movie night instead?
  4. Finally, take a look at how you spend. Using multiple credit and debit cards can make it difficult to track your monthly spending. Try using just one credit card, and paying it off each month; reducing to one spending method will help you control your money flow.

Take it from us: downsizing now could lead to begin returns in the long run!