Real Talk: Spending Beyond Your Means

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At some point in your financial journey, someone will surely share a cautionary tale of “not spending beyond your means.” But what does that even mean?

Spending beyond one’s means happens when someone finds themselves incurring expenses that exceed the amount of income they’re bringing in. The most common examples look like this:

  • Taking on monthly responsibilities without evaluating your ability to pay for them
  • Not tracking daily spending

Why is spending beyond your means a behavior to avoid?

Spending beyond your means can quickly derail your progress to your financial goals. If you’re not mindful, a habit of excess spending can develop very quickly. If you frequently find yourself living in the moment, reaching for your cash or debit card before considering your financial obligations, you can quickly find yourself falling short on funds for the things that matter.

Not spending beyond your means can be challenging. Here are a few tools that can help tackle your spending and help keep you on track towards your financial goals.

Developing a Spending Plan

Regardless of your income and expenses, we always recommend making a spending plan and building habits around sticking to it. A spending plan is a great way to gain a deeper understanding of the money you have and how it’s spent. When you write down your income and expenses, you have an opportunity to evaluate your financial responsibilities and how much you’re able to spend.

Use Online and Mobile Banking

Once you have developed a spending plan, taking advantage of online and mobile banking can allow you to hold yourself accountable for your spending. Checking your account balances regularly online can also give you some reassurance of knowing how much you have before you plan to make any planned and unplanned purchases.

Download the Card Controls App

Call Federal’s Card Controls app is a helpful tool to help keep you in control of your spending. The Card Controls app allows you to manage the type of transactions allowed on your debit card, as well as “freeze” your card at your convenience. Having the ability to control the usage on your debit card is a great way to not only manage how you spend but how often. Click here to learn more about Card Controls.

When it comes to developing your financial skills, spending within your means is achievable when you use the right tools to keep the management of your money top of mind.

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