Just when I was becoming frantic and crazed over the Christmas shopping I have left to do a little relief came in the form of a new book I came across. Shoo, Jimmy Choo, by Catey Hill, the Money Editor of NYDailyNews.com, and self-proclaimed "recovering shoe addict" has a refreshingly honest and relatable style to tackling finances for young women. It's a great guide to getting spending in check and understanding ways to make real, effective changes to start saving — and it helped to totally squelch my anxiety over holiday shopping duties.
Instead, I've shifted my focus. Rather than obsess over the spending spree I had in mind, I've decided to tackle some more important financially-focused tasks. First, I'm taking some of Catey's advice to heart and suggesting that you might do the same. As the first step to becoming more fiscally responsible — I'm resolving to identify my spending style for the New Year.
Want to make this your resolution, too? Then just read more.
The point here is to understand how you spend, i.e. what "triggers" you to pull out your wallet and hand over your cash. To fully understand the pattern in your spending, Catey encourages you to keep a spending diary; in fact, if you want to make some serious changes in your spending, it's not just encouraged, it's a must.
Just like you might track your diet in a food journal, your financial journal requires the details of all of your expenditures — your day-to-day, your discretionary expenses, your necessities. As you track your expenses, you can begin to understand how you spend money — and then begin to change it, if you're spending $300 a month on shoes and zero to paying off any debt, for example.
Even if you think your spending is under control, just give it a test run. If the spending habits you've recorded in the span of two weeks start to surprise you, then you've learned a valuable lesson and can begin to pinpoint the areas of your budget that need tweaking. If not? Then, you've proved that you're totally on top of managing your finances, and can only resolve to keep it up in the New Year.