Nine out of ten Canadians have a debit card and almost half of Canadians have three or more credit cards.  Interac says that a third of us go to the bank machine at least once per week.

That is a lot of plastic, and a lot of ready cash.  We have a lot of transactions in our busy lives, and keeping the running total in your head can be a challenge.  How do you remember what money has been spent where?

Here are three things you can do to keep more money in your jeans.                                           Pants

Keep Separate Accounts

One of the easiest ways to be on top of your spending is to separate your money into different accounts.  Keep money that is needed to pay the bills in one account and your discretionary spending in another.

Even better, take the account that pays your bills off of your debt card so that you don’t spend that money before the bills are paid.  Now when you go to the bank machine or pay with debit, you won’t be spending the mortgage payment.

Make Notes on the ATM Receipt

Does it feel like your cash disappears right out of your wallet, so you find yourself back to the ATM?  Next time, hang on to the receipt.  As you spend the money you took out, make a quick note on where you spent it.  Keep the receipt for at least two weeks so you can see where the money is going.

Don’t Double Spend

Armed with a debit card and a credit card, it is easy to double spend your money.  At one store, you swipe the debit card and that money comes out of your account.  When you use the credit card, you have to remember that money has been spent, and hold it back to pay the bill.

When you make a purchase on your credit card, move that money right away so you don’t spend it twice.  Pay the credit card with online banking, or move the money into a holding account using a free online savings account until your bill comes in.

Need more ideas? Ask your friendly Financial Coach.

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