UNITED STATES—Sometimes you have to take a moment and really examine your expenses. You have to look at where the income you are bringing in is going. I take a look at my expenses in my convenient notebook once a week, but even then I realized that was not enough. Why? Money was being spent and I didn’t fully realize what I was spending it on, now I do.

If you were to ask someone who balances a checkbook anymore, you’ll discover that 95 percent of Americans or more do not do it. Why? Most Americans have debit cards, which takes the funds immediately out of your checking account. The vast majority of Americans do NOT keep track of what they are spending on their debit card, they just swipe or insert that card and enter their pin and go about their business. That is a problem because you don’t realize what you’re spending until you realize your funds are not as high as you thought they were or should be.

I’m a receipt person, so I keep a copy of all my receipts to keep tracking of what I’m spending, where I’m spending and why am spending. The ‘why’ part is very important people because it explains if you’re wastefully spending or spending on something you actually need. This helped me determine, I’m spending a bit more on clothing than what I should be spending. I do believe in the notion that if you work you should be able to treat yourself, but at the same time, I’m coming to the realization that does not mean you have to spend money just to do it.

My closet is pretty stuffed with clothing, hell there is so much clothing even after donating and getting rid of things I still don’t have enough space. Why? I’m constantly purchasing more clothing. Now, I’m not buying just to be buying, but I am buying things because I’m getting them at a great deal. However, what good is purchasing clothing if you’re never actually going to wear it? Yeah, I have so many pairs of jeans, T-shirts and shoes with the tags on them and they have not been worn!

That is WASTEFUL spending people; I’m shouldn’t be purchasing stuff just to purchase it and then NOT using it. That is money I could be using to pay off debt, to place into my savings, to save up for a travel destination, retirement, repairs on the home and so much more. It might seem like a little now, but $20 here and there can quickly add up to a few hundred dollars and that’s nothing to sneeze at people.

I always say every single dollar, let me reword that, every single penny adds up, because it takes 100 pennies to equal a dollar. A hundred dollar bills to get to $100, so don’t discount small amounts of money people because they do indeed matter. It is not just clothing or those nifty items that you like to purchase that put you at ease or make you feel good about yourself that matters, but its anything that you don’t really need, but you manipulate your mind to think you need it. It is like buyers’ remorse, but not really. Let me explain that a bit more. You know you don’t want the item, yet you still buy it and then you decide after you get home you really need to take the item home.

You delay and delay in doing it and then you have a situation where the item can no longer be returned people. Not smart, money down the drain and then you are frustrated with the outcome. If you are in situation where you have discovered that money is being tossed in the trash or that you can utilize those monies for other things, it is time to reevaluate your spending habits to ensure they benefit you in the long run.

Written By Jason Jones