Budget Busting: Zero-Dollar Days

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This week I wanted to highlight a great tool I am now an avid user of: $0 days! ?

I got the idea from this Huffington Post blog: http://huff.to/Uv3hSf

The author of this post, Laura Shin, got her finances under control by logging every single cent she spends in an Excel document. This may seem a little like overkill, but it does help you realize where all that cash you thought you had in your wallet disappears, too.

More importantly, logging spending helps bring you a sense of victory when you have a $0 day.

Some days you just have to spend. This tool isn’t about cutting back on spending it’s about eliminating unnecessary spending. So still go out with your friends, pay your cover fee and buy a drink. But when you’re buckling down in the library for a hardcore study day, skip Starbucks and opt for a thermos of your home brew. That way on days when you’re not really doing much you are also not spending.

After trying Shin’s method for a week I am a believer. The small victory that comes from logging a zero versus a $2 dollar waste on a vending machine is inexplicable. Also this budgeting method has helped me keep better tabs on my cash, something I have trouble with.

You don’t have to go to the extreme and log all of your spending. You could just keep track of your daily purchases, or lack thereof, in your head for a more simplified experience.

At the end the goal is this: if you don’t really have to then don’t spend. Still do all the things you love but if you have gone the entire day without spending don’t make that $10 late night purchase at Target. We all know it’s impossible to spend under $30 there anyways!  

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