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What NASCAR Can Teach Us About Smart Budgeting

Published April 25, 2014

pace your spending to stay on trackThough you may not realize it, speeding and spending are somewhat synonymous. Think about it: Some people spend recklessly, while other people drive recklessly. Both require little thought, and both can be incredibly detrimental to you and those around you.

With NASCAR season gearing up, people across the country are getting pumped for some revved-up, octane-fueled action.

So take your foot off the accelerator for a minute and check out these tips on how you can leave your reckless spending habits in the dust.

Paying Top Dollar for Your Phone’s Extra Features Is like Putting Premium Gas in That Old Station Wagon: It’s Expensive, Unnecessary and a Complete Waste of Money

Remember a time when you actually had to memorize a person’s number or had to rely on a real-life map instead of your mobile GPS to get you around town? Seems like an eternity ago, right? Cell phones today can sometimes feel like an extra appendage, and people use them accordingly.

While an all-inclusive cell phone plan may benefit those whose phone is all but surgically attached to their hand, those of you who are not heavy cell phone users may be paying a lot more for various fees and/or services you aren’t even using. If you’re having trouble keeping up with your monthly cell phone payments, or if you find yourself paying for services you never even knew you had, consider switching to a pay-as-you-go phone instead.

People who use their cell phone less than a few hours a month may find that paying as you go saves considerable amounts of money. Plus, you won’t have to worry about paying extra fees for services you never even use.

Watch the Race at Home

Rather than wasting big bucks at the track, consider saving a few dollars by staying in. Make a party out of it, and invite a few friends over. Appetizers and meals eaten out are more expensive than providing food at home, and, in many cases, friends will often offer to bring snacks or drinks as well.

Click here for some delicious snack ideas.

Getting that Much-Needed Tune-Up

As NASCAR vehicles are constantly being exposed to various wear ‘n’ tear, their repair fees are undoubtedly through the roof. That’s why it’s so important that they receive frequent tune-ups.

The same rings true with your wallet. Now, we’re not saying to go out and buy a new wallet every few months. Instead, keeping your finances in check and occasionally going over them and performing a little “fine tuning” will help you avoid having to pay high fees later.

Although cutting corners in NASCAR may be illegal, cutting corners with your finances is not only perfectly ok, it’s highly advisable.

Here are a few easy maintenance tips to help keep your finances running smooth:

Be sure to review your bank statement every month. Take note of your various transactions, look at where the bulk of your disposable income is going, and use that as a platform to build a proper budget for the next month

Also Read: Stop Doing Dumb Things with Money

Take advantage of your free credit report. You’re entitled to a free yearly credit check with each of the three credit reporting bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). Take a look at your report, and be sure to make note of any possible discrepancies.

Did you know that an estimated one out of five credit reports have errors? That’s why it’s even more important that you thoroughly comb over you report. After all, who wants to pay for something they didn’t even buy?

Try to limit your credit card use to only purchases you know you can immediately pay off. One of the fastest (and easiest) ways people fall into the debt trap is by using their credit card—over and over—in a way that’s both irresponsible and unmanageable.

Rather than putting the pedal to the medal, slow down a bit. A few minor adjustments here and there can make all the difference when it comes to your finances (and your speeding).

After all, slow and steady wins the race.

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