Give Yourself a Raise in 2006

How would you like to earn more in 2006? Up to $4000 more? The answer is not by earning more, although that can help, it’s by cutting back on your daily expense. We work to earn a living. We live paycheck to paycheck. Never have money left over at the end of the month? Where does it all go? You can probably account for the majority of where you paycheck goes. Housing, car payments, credit card bills, food. But where do all those other dollars go?

You might be surprised how much cash you spend every day without really knowing it. Lets start with your drive to work. Long commute? How much gas do you use a week commuting? Are there ways you can reduce that? Car pool, public transportation? A job closer to home? Do you have to pay for parking? If you have to park in a downtown area anywhere in the county you are probably spending $8-$12 or more per day. Can you find a less expensive place to park even if it means walking a few extra blocks? A job where you don’t have to pay for parking can save you $100-$200 a month.

How about the morning coffee. $30-$40 per month? Do you bring your lunch or eat out everyday? $3-$10 a day is another $60-$200 a month. Don’t forget the snack out of the vending machine and your afternoon soda break. There is another $35 a month.

If you add it up you are looking at spending $300 a month or $3600 a year that it is costing you to work. These are just some of the daily expenses you may have, not including other work related expenses. Now divide $300 a month by how much you make per hour and you will know how many hours you need to work just to be able to work!

You don’t have to give up everything at once but if you start to cut back now when you get your next raise you will have even more money to put away. The easiest thing to do now is simply keep track of your daily expenses for the next few weeks. You may be surprised just how much you are spending. Once you know where your money is going then you can start to cut back.

Don’t get in the habit of going to the cash machine every few days. Once cash is in your hands, you will never know where it went. If you want to keep more of your hard earned dollars start to budget today. You will be glad you did.