Using the control center to help reduce spending is a benefit of doing a control center. Seeing where money is going and taking control of spending help reduce debt. Keeping spending under control is necessary and is easy to do once know where the money is going. This episode will cover everything needed to control spending.
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Hello, I'm your host, Mr. Chuck, I retired accountant turn truck driver, I reduce my debt in a relatively short period of time. debt reduction to achieve financial freedom takes commitment, confidence, determination. Everything to reduce debt, using the control center to help reduce spending is a benefit of doing a control center. Seeing where money is going and taking control spending help reduce debt. Keeping spending under control is necessary, and is easy to do once know where the money is going. This episode will cover everything needed to control spending. The last part, I'm going to give you ideas on how to reduce your spending, once you get everything in place, so you can see where your money is going. And it starts out with track your spending, I have links in my show notes to two articles that I'm going to refer to a V can read them in full, that's good. If you're interested in the program I use to get out of debt, there is a link in my show notes, the very last one shop financial, you're gonna have to copy and paste the link comes up, it should say mainland and chuck in the upper left hand corner. And if you just follow what you see there, it will eventually get back to me if you decide you want to get more information. So let's start an order to reduce your spending and get your spending under control, he first got to realize you have a problem. Once you've done that, you're you're gonna you're starting, you're in the right place. And you got to start tracking everything going through your checking account, and all your credit cards that you use on a regular basis. Now my debt reduction plan, the first thing you got to do is quit using credit, you got to quit using your credit cards, you gotta quit borrowing money to pay for things that you need to pay for on a monthly basis. Once you do that, you you need to focus on where your spending is going. If you know you're buying too many clothes, or if you're going out to eat dinner, every single meal, those are the two places you need to focus on first, he got to go to the grocery store and buy groceries and eat your meals at home. Unless you're traveling or a truck driver. And you can't do that. I assume everybody's got a place they go to at night, and they probably have a kitchen. So you'll be able to cook your own food. Even if you go to the grocery store and buy the pre made meals, that's most likely going to be cheaper than going to a restaurant for every meal. Also another place is make your coffee at home, you can spend a save some money there. Before you start doing these things. Those are the obvious choices. You need to track your spending. And tracking is just a matter of having an application where you put in your information. It takes five once you have everything set up takes five to 10 minutes every week. Keep it up to date, and you have a start. You know where your money is coming from, you know where your money is going for your checking account and all your credit cards. Let's stick with that for now. Of course you know that you got your mortgage payment or your rent, you know you have your monthly utilities. If you're using your credit cards to pay those monthly bills, you have a problem. He got to quit doing that. He got to focus on Pan air regular monthly bills which I referred to as needs first, and then pay in your minimum payment on your credit cards and all your debt second, and then building up an emergency fund or a savings account. Third, if you do those things, you're gonna start getting your debt under control. Everything else you do is only gone to speed up the process. So if you can get your spending under care control. Look for ways to reduce your spending, do it month in and month out, you're going to increase your savings much faster, you'll be able then to apply a larger dollar amount to one of your credit cards, let's say, your debt, thus, paying it down a little bit faster tracking, and then a control center, a control center is a budget. Most people don't like to do a budget because one a year think it's too time consuming, it's not cheap, do it the way I lay it out, and only takes you maybe 1020 minutes a month. If that, the more you do it, the faster is gonna become the more familiar with the process, the quicker you will be getting the results that you need to identify the areas where you need to focus on reducing your spending, it could be just shopping, it could be your titties are extremely high. And maybe you think you don't have control. But you do can always use less of everything. And how you go about it is up to you, you have to make a conscious decision to do it. If you just keep doing everything you've been doing in the past, you're not gonna get your life in your financial life under control. And that's what we're striving to do with this podcast. So you do your tracking, you use that information, you create yourself a report by category, you create yourself a budget or control center. And once you have that done, then you can look more at the details. And I will start with housing, your needs are housing, transportation, food, three basic things, that's a start. After that, then you have your debt savings and credit payments. That's not anywhere else would be mostly credit cards, personal loans, payday loans, things like that. So our goal here is to free up money to help pay down that the less debt you have, the more money you're gonna have to put it towards another debt. And so the cycle starts out slow, that over time is gonna speed up. So the first thing you need to look for once you have your tracking done for at least a month, and over time, you're gonna be continually do these things month in and month out is just not a one time thing. You're always gonna be looking at, where can I save money? Where can I reduce my spending, not only in shopping, not only in going out to dinner, not only on entertainment items, but on everything that you're paying for how can you reduce your spending, you have to be in that mindset to get your debt under control. So let's start with housing. Well, first of all, if you have a mortgage or rent, you're pretty much stuck with that. And if you have rent that's way too high, and that's putting a strain on your budget, then when your lease ends, look for a cheaper place to live, if possible, maybe you're already in the cheapest place you can live. So maybe there's very little we can do in the housing, mortgage rent category, but there is a little bit you find someplace else, maybe have more house than you need. You can always sell the house and buy something more affordable for your particular budget. Maybe you got in that situation because it was you and your spouse were working you got your loan for your mortgage with two people working maybe started having children now your spouse, one of you has quit working. So that puts a strain on your budget. So some things are in your control and some things are not utilities are in your control. If you don't have a controllable programmable thermostat for your electric, when your heat, then you have to get that that's one of the first things you have to do. If you have an older home. You got to look at why is your heating cost so much why's your eighth air conditioning cost so much? That could be because you don't have enough insulation in the attic. And that's something you could do to help overall reduce your costs. You can also look at improving the home as far his windows are concerned, Windows old windows leak a lot and they let in a lot of cold or warm air. So you could upgrade your windows, I know these are expensive items, and the won't be able to do them right away. But these are things you need to be thinking about to do in the future. If those categories have already been done, you're in good shape. So now you need to program your thermostat, I'm going to start out with air conditioning. And this is what I do. When my air conditioning is on in the summertime, I set it at a higher temperature during the day that nobody is home during the day, then set it at a higher temperature. So you let it warm the house up, I go up as high as 78 degrees, you could go as high as 80 degrees. And then at night, when the sun goes down, it gets dark out, it's cooling down outside, then that's when you set the temperature and for your AC at a lower, I set it at 72 house cools down. So it's comfortable and cool at night. But during the day I let a warm up, but it takes to three or four o'clock in the afternoon to warm all the way up. Unless it's extremely hot out, my AC is not going to kick on. So when everybody else is running their air conditioning, mine is sitting idle, the house is little bit warm. But if nobody's home, who cares. Or if you get home at say 536 o'clock, you can program your thermostat to lower down to 78 degrees, say you have a set an ad and then at 530 Set it to bring it down to 7778 76 cooled down a little bit so it's comfortable. And then nine o'clock at night. 10 o'clock on might bring it all the way down to 72. And your air conditioning won't run as much and you use a lot less electricity. I basically do the same thing with my heat. But it's this the reverse. I bring it up to a temperature around 68 degrees. And then my I let it fall down to about 6665 degrees. And then during the day I warm the house back up when the sun is out and it's a little bit warmer outside. That's how you can help reduce your electric bill other than turning off lights when you don't need them. I know LED lights don't use much. I know fluorescent lights don't use much. Anything you can do to reduce your overall electric costs is helpful. Don't leave lights on 24/7 Turn them off during the day. Don't leave lights on in a room nobody's in. Don't let TVs run if nobody is in there. If you leave the room and be gone for an hour, turn the TV off and come back. Article I have even says any appliances you're not using to unplug them because they're drawn little bit of current. So if you have a microwave you only use a couple times a day, plug it, plug it back in when you use it and then unplug it. And that way it won't be drawn any type of current because he have maybe a clock in there or whatever that goes with your coffee pot, your microwave, convection ovens, whatever you may have sitting on the counter that you leave in, plugged in 24/7 On Plug them when you're not using them. All these things will add up over time and help you save money. My have natural gas for my heat. So that's pretty much controlled through my thermostat and how I set my thermostat up to heat the house. I have nobody's home, I let it get colder. I bump up the heat a little bit before I get home and then later at night. I bump it up a little bit more to keep it comfortable. And then during the day I let it drop down. If you have a well insulated house with good windows that takes a long time for the House to cool down or warm up depending on the season you're in. Home Insurance you are required by your mortgage company or even if you don't have a mortgage, you should still have home insurance. Once a year shopped around before you renew it, shop around and see what's out there. I just recently had a problem with my insurance company I shopped around Then I reduced my home insurance by $300 a year, don't sound like much, but then that's $300 more I have. Same thing with car insurance for your transportation, same thing for everything, any insurance that you're paying for shopping around, get prices on a yearly or regular basis, maybe every couple years. So that's housing, part of housing that I include on their housing is my internet service. I only pay for what usage or the amount of megabytes or however they go by, that I can use. So if I have a device that only can use 500 megabytes, and that's my largest device, I'm only paying for 500 megabytes on that pan for 1000 megabytes, or what kilobytes or whatever they call it, I only pay for the maximum amount the price can handle or will use for the internet, I have no problems whatsoever on streaming, I have no interruption, I have no waiting on it to load or catch up. I have no those problems. And that's how you save some money. Also, if you have internet service, and you have cable, you're spending too much money, you can get rid of that cable service for your TV, and stream. That way you're maximizing the use of your internet, you're paying for that anyway, and what are you using it for, you're just going online to do some shopping on your computer, or to look up some YouTube video or whatever the case would be. You're not being efficient with what you're paying for high stream 90% of all my TV, the other 10% is free TV over the air, I bought myself a digital antenna, I get a bunch of stations I don't have to pay for and never pay for your local channels through your cable, or through a streaming service. He don't have to do that. It's it's a little bit of a pain to switch back and forth. But it's not hard. You just select your input on your TV and select you change your input and boom, you're there. It only takes a few seconds. And once everybody knows how to do it, it's no big deal. On streaming, you want to keep it under control. You don't it streaming for everything you ever want to watch, you want to get one service that gives you most of everything you run a watch. So if you got cable TV, I have one service where I can watch all those same channels through a streaming service. Except for news which I don't watch any way. And sports. Most of my sports I watch through the free TV through my antenna. When the college football games are in the playoffs, and December through January, I will pay because all the services are month to month. So if I don't have ESPN one to five, whatever there is, I then will pay for one month of service for to watch those games off to have a nice ESPN, I'll pay for one month service, or watch the game. As soon as the game over the next day. I'll go in and cancel it and you'll get a prorated bill, I minimize my streaming costs by not paying for things I don't watch on a regular basis. And then if I need it, then I'll pay for it for one month. Watch what I want to watch ending cancel it. That's the beauty of the streaming service the month the month so you're not locked in. And you can only you can do it for a week also or two weeks and doesn't much matter. And May if you never signed up for that particular streaming service before you can get a trial period for 30 days. So you might be able to watch where you want to watch at no cost at least the first time. I did that for two or three years until I ran out of services I could use. Now I just pay for it for one month on a service I already have. I just expand the service. Pay use it for the time period I need and then I cancel, the part that I expanded. Cable TV is very expensive. And that's a good way you can say money, your cell phone service. Same thing, if you've had the same service program for more than a couple of years, check with your phone provider to see if they have any other new pricing and effect where you can get same or better service at a lesser cost. That is something you need to continually check for. And that's one of the reasons I never get a phone through a service, I buy my phone outright, and then have an iPad, so it's unlocked. And then I will be able to change services whenever I feel like and if I can find a better plan, that gives me the same level service at a less monthly fee, how transportation is a little bit harder, because gas price goes up and down. I've came to conclusion that I don't want to fill up my gas tank every week, or every time it's empty. So what I do is only put in the amount I'm gonna need for one or two weeks, maybe it's 10 gallons. And then I hope the price drops a little bit which sometimes it don't, so that I not putting all my money into my gas tank, instead of paying $60 on the fill up, put $30 in, I drive for a week, week and a half, and then I put maybe another $30. And maybe over time, it's kind of even out the same. But that leaves money in your checking account in case something else comes up, he might have a bill that's due, he might be 30 bucks short that week, and you're gonna get paid a week from now. But you'll have the extra money there to pay that bill. So it can be timely pay. So it's managing your money, it's keeping track of your money as keeping control of your money, that's important. Our service, you need to set aside a little bit every pay, and to a savings account, your emergency fund, and DEXA needed for oil change or car repairs or car maintenance. And then you have the money there. When the time comes to do that oil change, it's gonna cost you 60 7080, whatever, $100 you'll have the monies and it's not gonna hurt your weekly budget for that particular time period. Because you just transferred out your savings. It's in your checking, use your debit card. When I say quit using your credit cards, I mean, quit using your credit cards, you got to start paying for everything, using your debit card, or getting cash out your bank and paying cash for everything. I think most people use their debit card. But it's important, you got to know how much is in that checking account, you got to know how much you can afford, how much of that money has been earmarked for groceries or gasoline, or maybe a utility bill coming up. Because if you're not paying all your monthly bills on time, you're paying too much because you're paying late payment penalties, they might be charging you interest, you're just paying too much. So you have to start paying everything on time, you need to build up your emergency fund. So if an unexpected expense comes along, you have the money available to pay for most of it if not all of it. That way you can minimize the usage of your credit cards. I only use credit cards to buy stuff online. I generally pay them off every month, so I have no big deal. Now my budget, I have set aside X amount of money to apply to my credit card. Some months I go over that some months I'm under it, but I have a set amount of money already designate to pay for that credit card. Don't use your credit card to buy things if you don't have the money to pay for it today. You can always use your credit card to buy some online and pay it off every Friday. He can go online and he can pay off your credit card balance on Friday. If you have a credit card was a zero balance. That way you're not carrying any debt. Don't wait the 30 days because some miles could happen and then the money is used somewhere else. That credit card payment comes due. He can't pay it. You make a minimum payment you make a late payment you're gonna pay more interest you don't pay more fees. So you want to avoid doing those things, bank fees, keep the minimum balance that your bank requires in your checking account, or you'll be charged a fee, I set my budget up, so that I have at least $300 in my checking account at the lowest possible balance, if I pay off everything pay for everything, I know I'm gonna have at least$300. And that will get me through next pay period. Whenever that may be, that will get me to there, so I don't run low. So the banks not charging me a monthly fee, or charging me an overdraft fee or charging me the reserve fee for using their line of credit to fund my checking account. Dining Out is very expensive, try the eat more of your meals at home. But that doesn't mean you have to completely stop. It means keep it under control, he can still go out once a week, once a month, and celebrate a an achievement, you may may be paid off a credit card, but you can go out and have dinner and celebrate that by eating out. But if you can keep your food bills as low as possible. I'm not saying that you're gonna starve to death. I'm not saying you're cutting back on eating, unless you're on a diet and you want to, I'm saying we're keeping our spending under control. By reducing the number of times we're eating out. Clothes only buy clothes when you absolutely need them, make sure they're wore out before you replace them. I generally like shoes, for instance, I have shoes I wear when I'm dressed up or going out. And then when those shoes wear out a little bit, then I rotate them to my work shoes where I do work around the house. And then when they wear out from that I throw them away. And then I rotate my shoes again and buy one new pair, maybe a brown pair or a black pair depending on which one wore out. So that's how I keep my clothing under control and insurance. He always check in for better prices before you renew your insurance policy to make sure you're getting the best possible deal. I'll be back in one moment with my final thoughts. If you're interested in learning about an online software that helped myself get out of debt, it does tracking, budgeting, and keeps track of all your assets and all your debt. And even tells you how much and when to transfer money into your savings account. And how much and when to transfer money to your debt and which debts to pay off and order. First. It's not cheap. It's a one time payment. But it will definitely be an investment something and yourself and an investment in your personal financial life. If you're interested, send me an email at reduce debt increase firstname.lastname@example.org. And I'll send you the information about this online software that worked great for me. The most expensive things is cable TV, your cell phone, replacing your cell phone every year, maybe wait three or four years cut down on that expense. Dining out too much. Not going to the grocery store. And utilities set too high or too low. Depending on air conditioning or heat. And just having a house you can afford to start with. There's things you have to do. And that's pay your bills monthly bills every month on time. That will save you money. Your needs are housing, transportation, food savings, credit card debt, insurance that's not anywhere else, which would be life insurance, disability insurance. Depending on your age, what you have. One of the way you can save money on life insurance is if you're younger, do term insurance is much cheaper than whole life insurance. That's up to you. Shop around, try to get a decent rate as far as your car, only put enough gas in there what you're going to use for that particular pay period and then try them minimize your running around, try to make two or three stops in one trip. So you're not making three or four trips, make one trip, go to the grocery store, pick up your children, go to the hardware store, then back home. Don't make that three separate trips. Try to control how often you're using your car, back and forth to work, maybe on your way home from work, you stop at the grocery store, so you're not making that extra trip. Whatever you can do or think of to save money is your mindset. Those are the things you should be doing. And you need to get in the habit of doing it. You can also automate all your monthly bills, so they're paid on time. If you're confident you're gonna have the money available in your checking account, to pay them every month on time, then automate it, then it will happen you'll never be late again. also automate a little bit of your savings. Put if you want to put 2% of your take home pay in the saving every pay period, automate it and they will happen automatically and you'll forget about it. And that's a good way to build up your savings. Keep a minimum balance in your checking account. Keep a minimum bounce in your savings account, so you can avoid those bank fees. Everything you do is gonna affect your financial life. So by controlling everything you do, you can control how much money you're spending, and you'll be glad you did. So