After you have track your spending for a month, you now have the information you need to create a monthly budget. Now you know exactly how and what you spend your money on. If you did not have a surplus of money at the end of the month, you can now see area where you can trim your spending in order to operate you budget with a surplus next month.
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.