Our approach to saving has been consistent in the last decade. We chose not to maintain budgets – instead, we’ve adhered to a principle of “conscious spending” and targeted saving 40%+ of what we earn.
As part of staying true to this principle, we’ve consciously entered every expenditure into a spreadsheet. It is simple, low tech, and ensures we’re making conscious spending decisions.
The other benefit of this approach, as I learned yesterday, is that it also helps us quickly catch credit card fraud. I had a few notifications of expenses that I was about to enter into the spreadsheet, found one I didn’t recognize, and called Chase to confirm that our credit card had been compromised.
It was a nice reminder to schedule an end-of-year security audit. If you haven’t scheduled one, this practice comes strongly recommended. 3 things to check in on –
1) 2 factor authentication on all your key accounts
2) Notifications on all your credit cards so you know when expenses are made
3) Set up monitoring of your credit and account details using services like CreditKarma and SpyCloud.
Stay safe out there.