YOU CAN EVEN SAVE WHILE ON A SHOESTRING
Believe it or not, how much you save has little to do with how much you make, and studies have proven this! It is time to put away the excuses!
One Simple Word – SAVINGS
When you hear that one simple word, do you feel a deep sense of guilt? Of course you do – we all do! That is because 75% of most people said they knew that their savings, targeted for retirement, were insufficient.
It is true that the middle-income earners managed to save less than the lower-income earners in some study, therefore what is the secret to their saving success then?
For those of us who scrimp and save endlessly and with so little to show for it, the statistic of these studies is both annoying and embarrassing! It also means that you have no excuse for inadequate savings.
The bottom line here is this: You just have to SAVE! That means for every $10 you earn, you MUSH put away at least $1 in savings. Does not sound to be too difficult, right? WRONG!
UNLESS you have an iron clad savings plan, you will not save a single red cent! The TRICK is in the Purpose and The Plan!
WHAT IS YOUR EMERGENCY PLAN?
ARE YOU READY TO START A GOOD SAVINGS PLAN?
You are ready but you feel at a loss as to how you will come up with that extra money. You are already barely eking out a living. You can manage if you train yourself to think differently. That is the first part of any good plan. You have to think right. If you don’t think right towards your money, you won’t be able to manage it.
Your First Step: Re-think How You Think About Money
Saving money is a calm state of mind. Before you can even begin, you have to say NO to all of the spending – and stop thinking that you actually need all the stuff you’re spending all of your hard-earned money on. Just don’t spend!
That is simple enough! Say NO to all of the excuses and reasons for why you feel you MUST spend. Tell yourself, NO MORE EXCUSES, PERIOD! The very next time you want to buy something, take the $50 or $100 out if your wallet instead, and stash it away somewhere. Do you see the logic? That’s why you call Saving. You don’t end up with stuff; You end up with the hard-earned MONEY.
Another new way of thinking will be to think of frugality as your savior. Become a confirmed cheapskate and do as your most frugal friends do. Pay special note to the fact that frugal friends fix the shower curtain instead of buying a new one. Sit down with depression-era relatives and ask about how they make ends meet during desperate times. You will want to learn to economize.
The next step in re-thinking is to become inspired. Spend some spare time online and look for web sites with topics regarding frugal matter. Look for “Living Cheaply”, “Frugal Living” and “Voluntary simplicity”. You will find a ton of good web sites devoted to living on less.
Learn to turn shopping time into activity time. E.g. go for a bike ride, walk down memory lane, take the kids to the park; Do anything and everything that you can to take your mind off shopping and spending. It works!
Step #2: TIME TO SAVE!
There are many creative ways to live on less. However, you don’t want to make your life miserable. Here are some great ways to economize without missing quality of life:
- Don’t think too much about it – Just Do It! Direct deposit is now your best friend! Just whisked away some money into your bank account and you don’t have to do a thing to make it happen. Do it today. Eat meatless some of the time. Go veggie. Prepare just three meatless days a week (without substituting pricey fish) and you could save at least $25 a week, which is about $100 a month, which equals $1,200 a year!
- Play The Money Game – Whenever you get a $5 bill, put it aside for later. Alternatively, do the same with ones, with quarters or even all your spare change. You will have a nest egg built up before you even miss a nickel. Never spend the extras. Save all of your income-tax refund, your holiday money from the folks and any other extras and save every penny.
- Negotiate and Haggle – You will be impressed by who will drop their prices, fees and interest rates: Airlines, Hotels, Credit Card companies, and even computer/appliance/rug sales person. Before you even think about paying the full price: Haggle a bit first.
- Re-evaluate your money before you spend – That dinner out for the family will cost more than you spend on groceries in a week. That fancy pair of shoes is worth half the cost of a commuter pass. Learn what your money is worth to you, and you won’t be so quick to dispose of it.
- Bring your mortgage costs down – Look at whether or not the rate is too high. If it is, look to refinancing – this will save you money.
- Toss out those nasty, glossy catalogs – The best known form of spending temptation known to man or woman is the Catalogs. Sure they are fun and look good, but are they worth the risk of spending? Chuck them straight into the trash bin.
- Avoid incurring unnecessary fees – E.g. the late fees you pay for returning videos or the fat charges the bank hit you with when you write a check that bounce.
- Don’t pay for a pro – If you can fix your own kitchen sink or your home computer system: Go for it and save!
- Put your raise in the bank – Put that tiny 3% to 5% boost in the paycheck on your direct deposit and live on your previous salary.
- Just buy the basics for the pets – Say NO to pet pampering. Does your dog need those T-bone snacks? Does your cat need that rabbit-fur-lined toy? Probably not.
When you are focused on being savings minded, you are thinking about money changes. Before you know it, you will already have some substantial savings.
The achievement of your goal is assured the moment you commit yourself to it. -- Mack R. Douglas