Credit and debit cards can lure you into spending frenzy that can spiral out of control before you know it. Have you ever come to the end of the month and asked, "Where did all the money go?" The convenience of plastic has made it far too easy to make purchases that we might not make if we had to dip into our wallet and make a cash purchase. _ Studies have shown that spending increases as the means to pay for an item becomes easier. In other words credit cards have made buying transactions easier, so we're more likely to buy stuff without concern, until the bill comes at the end of the month! Likewise, new 'pay with a wave' credit cards will make it easier still and foster even more poor spending habits.
The second thing we need to do is to find out how much money you actually spend each month again include everything even those items that your spouse does not know about like that Latte down at the coffee stand, that you get on a daily basis. It helps to break this down a little. Fixed nonnegotiable expenses, things we actually cannot do without, we all need food lodging medical care basic clothing insurance property taxes a car may be necessary where you live, you get the idea.