The average American woman under the age of 35 loses track of $2,709 in cash each year, according to a study conducted by Visa-meaning you spend $52 a week without realizing where it's gone. "That's not chump change," says Janet Bodnar, author of Kiplinger's Money Smart Women. Luckily, a few adjustments can correct your financial amnesia.
- Restrict your cash flow
"Start by taking a set amount out of the ATM, such as $200, but tell yourself it has to last the week. You'll think harder about purchases when you have a limited supply of money," she says.
- Wait it out
If you're shopping and see something you like, leave the item at the store overnight. If you still want it the next day, go back for it. "You shouldn't deprive yourself," says Bodnar. "But you should be making conscious choices."
Keep a record
"You don't have to write down your expenses forever," says Bodnar. "Just do it for a month to see where you're bleeding funds. You'll probably be surprised."