CHICAGO, Nov. 1, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- As part of BMO Harris Bank's ongoing commitment to financial literacy and Helping Make Money Make Sense, BMO Harris is providing weekly financial tips. This week's tip offers ways to spend less.
If you're wondering why you can't get ahead, it may be that you're simply spending too much. Even if you think you're taking steps to save money, you may be spending more than you think.
Do any of the following scenarios sound familiar? BMO Harris Bank provides tips for what you can do instead:
"I went to the store for laundry detergent and ended up spending $100."
You know how it is – you go to your local discount store for one item and the next thing you know you have a cart full of things you may or may not really need. The likely culprit: shopping without a list. Try using one every time you go shopping – it can help you stay focused on the items you really need and avoid buying extras that aren't in your budget.
"I estimated my groceries would cost $50 but they added up to $80. What gives?"
A classic budgeting mistake is underestimating how much things actually cost. Even if you go into a store with a list, if you throw in a few extras, your cost estimate for the trip will be off. If it's important to stick within a certain amount, you may be better off overestimating how much you might spend. Otherwise, you'll need to make a calculator your new favorite shopping partner.
"Twenty boxes of green tea for only $50? Score!"
Savings like these can be a bargain – but only if you will actually use the items you buy. Ask yourself if you really like and can use the item in bulk. If the answer is yes to both, you're good to go. If your answer is no to either, you're better off saving your money. Another related "savings" people sometimes fall for are sales. For example, if you already have five pairs of black pants, you probably don't need another one, even if it's at a significant mark down.
"I tried cutting costs and calories – but splurged on cupcakes that busted my budget and my diet."
Beware: Making changes is great – but you should probably avoid making too many at one time. You only have so much willpower and trying to say no to too many things at once may add up to a giant splurge. Instead, try making changes one at a time. First fix your budget, and then work on your diet, or vice versa.
BMO Harris Bank can help if you need tips to get your spending under control. Our bankers can help you create a budget that works with your lifestyle, as well as offer additional steps that can improve your finances.
For more helpful tips visit, http://helpingmakemoneymakesense.com/
Helping Make Money Make Sense is brought to you by BMO Harris Bank, WGN, CLTV, WGN AM 1070, Chicago Tribune, RedEye and Hoy.
About BMO Harris Bank
Based in Chicago, BMO Harris Bank N.A. provides a broad range of personal banking products and solutions through over 600 branches and approximately 1,300 ATMs in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, Nevada, Arizona and Florida. BMO Harris Bank's commercial banking team provides a combination of sector expertise, local knowledge and mid-market focus throughout the U.S. Deposit and loan products and services provided by BMO Harris Bank N.A. Member FDIC. BMO Harris BankSM is a trade name used by BMO Harris Bank N.A. BMO Harris Bank is part of BMO Financial Group, a North American financial organization with 1,600 branches, and a retail deposit base of approximately $180 billion.
SOURCE BMO Harris Bank