Written by Shira Boss
Money management needn’t be complicated—the old-fashioned ways work better than any complicated investment idea. As part of our Chase Blueprint-sponsored Smart Spending series, we conducted video interviews and asked people what tried-and-true methods they use to manage their money. Here’s what they said:
Track spending: Every time you spend money, write it down. “It forces you to think about where you’re spending and how you’re spending,” said Scott Lavin. Also helpful: no more hiding from yourself how much you’re spending.
Pay cash: It’s impossible to go over budget when you use cash. Isabel Dickstein has a way to pay with a credit card for convenience but still use actual dollars: “Whenever I use my credit card, I take out the cash and staple it to a piece of paper,” she said. “That way I always know I have the money to pay my credit card bill.”
Use the envelope system: Put weekly or monthly allotments of cash into envelopes to keep on budget. “We have our grocery money, our gas money, money for birthday parties—it’s all anticipated at the beginning of the week and we’re not allowed to get into that debit card at all,” said Lauren Mangal. Didn’t spent it all? Then the next envelope grows fatter!
Automate your savings: Have some of your paycheck deposited directly into a separate savings account, Jessica Schear said: “Whether it’s $20, $25 ,$30… just something going in so you’re automatically saving, whether you forget or realize it or not.” Save now, and don’t wait until you “can afford it.”
Spend less than you earn: Abbe Lang’s version is to ignore raises and not spend more as she earns more through the years – the “extra” goes to savings. She promises, “If you live like that, you’ll never be chasing your tail and caught in debt.”
TELL US: What old-fashioned money management advice or habits do you follow? How have they worked for you?
About this series: As part of our Smart Spending reporting, Patch is profiling people across the country who have found creative ways to save money. If you're a smart spender, we want to hear from you! Share your story here or in the comments section below.