UNITED STATES—Money management, it’s something we continue to talk about a ton, but for good reason. Americans are in debt and it seems that debt is growing more nowadays than in the past. We know why that is? More have access to plastic, and I’m not only referencing credit cards, but debit cards as well. When money is tight that credit card is immediately pulled out, and I will be the first to admit it. Heck that is the reason you have the credit card, it’s for emergencies, but are we confusing an actual emergency with situations that are not that pressing?

Um, it is indeed very possible. I’m one who feels I am capable of resisting temptation, but it seems the older I get the more tempted I am to buy. As a result I fall into the buyer’s remorse troupe more than I’d like. It’s almost like; I should just knock myself in the head and say: “Hey, you really don’t want that item, so why in the hell are you buying it?” So this brings me to the question that we’ve discussed time and time again: what can we do to save more money?

It seems bad, but you need to track your purchases, it might not be a bad idea to write them down in a budget book. For those who want to be a bit savvy, you can utilize an Excel document. However, I consider that a bit excessive, but I will not knock anyone doing whatever helps them save. Jeez, we all know we need to save more money, yet it’s not happening. We are a culture that is living paycheck to paycheck and that is never a good thing.

I explained to you guys that I recently completed a little experiment where I tallied every single expense that I had. It was quite telling to say the least because I thought I was spending a bit more than I thought, and I was, it was all primarily going to groceries. It baffled me because I did not think I was spending a ton of money on food, but the reality of the situation was the fact that I actually was. This kind of harps on another column one of my colleagues is crafting this week about junk food versus actual food.

They say the worst thing you can do is go to the grocery store when you’re hungry. Why? You’re inclined to spend much more and purchase items that you never expected because everything looks good to you. In addition, purchasing items for the house can become costly especially when you do not have any help. This is something I recently discovered because I was the primary person purchasing cleaning supplies, laundry detergent, toilet paper and everyday essentials that people take for advantage.

I mean to be honest, based on my calculations I spent over $700 on things that people take for advantage, now just imagine if I had some help, I could cut that cost in half. That means I could have $350 in my savings account. It’s frustrating; especially when you realize how much has been spent. Then, there is the conversation about the bank. It’s like when you get paid and you’re depositing a check you have to choose how much to deposit and how much to keep. I’ll be honest whenever I get paid, about 80 percent of my check goes directly into my checking account and I only take a few dollars out to keep in the wallet for gas or unexpected minor expenses.

I think the more you take out the more you are likely to spend, especially if you’re just ‘taking out money’ for the sake of having some in your pocket. It’s almost like you’re setting yourself up to spend by just having what many of us consider ‘free money’ to spend, but that is not the case. Biggest advice that comes with saving money is not to spend simply to spend. Yes, you might think this sounds crazy, but it is very true. I know people who spend for the sole sake of they want to spend even though it’s something they do not need.

When it comes to saving money the crucial element at the forefront is that you have to resist temptation. Tell yourself to save, and do what needs to be done to ensure that you are saving. Sometimes just because you go to the mall does not mean you have to buy something if you without a doubt don’t need it. So many financial planners argue it’s so easy to save money, but the one thing they constantly forget is that temptation is the one thing that makes the battle to save harder than anyone could ever imagine.