Always make the full payment on a credit card

Boyle and Jake sit in a bar. Boyle asks Jake "How much did you spend on tonight?" and Jake replies "$1400 but it's all on credit cards so it's like $5 a month for the next $2000 years"

Credit card debt can add up quickly, especially if you’re making only the minimum payment. Credit card interest rates are often around 20%, so Jake isn’t lying when he says it will take that long to pay off. Remember that you should never spend money on your credit card that you don’t have in your bank account, and always pay the full amount of the card if you can. You can check out our previous post on credit cards to learn more.

Always have a cooldown period on major purchases

Amy and Jake sit on a roof. Jake says "Thus began the debt". Amy replies "Crushing debt". Jake looks at Amy and says "You do know me"

One of the reasons that we budget is so that we don’t go overboard with spending, especially on stuff we don’t need. Before we make major or unnecessary purchases, it’s best to wait 24 hours to see if you still really want the item. That way if you still want it (and it works with your budget) you can go back the next day and get it. And if you really want to go hardcore, some people put their credit card in the freezer and freeze it in a block of ice. That way it’s impossible to use without first waiting for a cooldown period.

Track your spending

Jake and Gina are at Jake's apartment with 6 massage chairs. Gina says "You have six massage chairs" and Jake replies "Because they don't have a massage couch"

A good tip for budgeting is to write down every purchase you make. That $2 coffee? Write it down. That Gentle Yoga: 7 Beginning Yoga Practices for Mid-Life (40’s-70’s) including AM Energy, PM Relaxation, Improving Balance, Relief from Desk Work, Core Strength, and more DVD for $25.95? Write it down. You’ll find that you actually spend less when you have track your spending afterwards, and it’s much easier to see where you spent your money at the end of the month. If Jake had been writing down his purchases he might have known that 4 is the maximum amount of massage chairs that you need.

Have a plan

Jake walks into a wine store and asks for their finest bottle of wine. The clerk tells him it will be $1600. Jake then asks for an $8 bottle of wine

This is something that Jake did right! Knowing how much you can spend and going in with a plan is always a good idea when you’re shopping. A good tip if you’re worried about overspending is to only take cash with you. That way you know the maximum amount that you’ll spend and it will be easier for you to stay on your budget. Well done Jake, I knew that I would be satisfied with you if I waited long enough. In fact, that could be the title of your…. never mind.