You need to list down your monthly bills first. If you have a credit or overdraft, pay them up first. Then, sum all your recurring monthly expenses and see how much you can save. Knowing how much you have in excess of that can help you budget and save the rest.
When it comes to saving money, there’s no better time to get back on track than the New Year. For some miraculous reason, January gives people hope and inspires them to change their ways. That’s why New Year’s resolutions are so comical. In retrospect, everyone wishes that they had done something different the previous year. So they over plan and overanalyze until they reach the point of frustration and scrap their goals altogether. I’m here to say that there are better ways to spend your time.
If you truly want to be financially fit, you’ll pay careful attention to the advice given here. Although the five money saving habits I have listed here are fairly easy to adapt to, they do require effort if you want to see them through. That means you need to have some staunch determination if you want to alter your financial situation in 2012. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Pay yourself first. That’s right! How do you expect to save when you have nothing left over from your paycheck? Automatically draft payments into your savings account each pay period and you’ll be surprised how little you miss the money that’s being taken out. Treat yourself just like you would any other creditor and force yourself to pay the bill to yourself on time. This little trick can help you save a pretty penny each year. Stop wasting time and sign up for an Ally savings account. It just takes a few minutes and you can easily set up automatic and recurring deposits.
- Find an alternate means of acquiring things. Before you shell out a bunch of money to purchase something, really think about your options. Is it something that will eventually go on sale? Can you pick it up at a garage sale or thrift store? Is it something you can make yourself? Can you do without it altogether? So many purchases are made impulsively. Stop and take a moment to evaluate an item’s necessity in your household. If you find yourself wondering for a second if it is needed, don’t buy it!
- Create at least one stream of passive income for yourself. Monetize your blog. Pay for your groceries by becoming a secret shopper. Write an article for a magazine once every couple of months. Do whatever it takes to earn some extra cash. It may not be enough to pay all of your bills but it can help in the event of an emergency or whenever you want to take a special trip with your family.
- Join a bartering or swapping website. Clothing, books, movies, and skills can all be swapped online and in your community. Rather than pay for these items, why not trade something you have for them instead? Websites like Freecycle, thredUp, and SwapTree are great for this reason. You don’t have to do without but you also don’t have to spend money every time your kids outgrow something or you grow tired of your book or movie collection.
- Remember that less is more. It’s hard to enjoy the things that you acquire if you have to work all the time to pay for them. Buy less and enjoy more time with your family members and friends. It may be hard to adopt a simpler lifestyle at first but with some practice, you’ll be on your way to enjoying the world around you more.
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About the Author: Charissa Arsaoui is a freelance writer with a love for thrift. You can read about her adventures by visiting her blog, Confessions of a Closet Coupon Clipper.
Don't buy things you don't need. That is what I've been trying to tell myself. But it doesn't mean I don't treat myself once in a while. I do. But I also have other priorities. I have a goal and I'm saving for it.
Number 1 and 3 are great. treat yourself just like you would and stream of passive income for yourself to have a special trip
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Good points. Paying yourself first is not enough unless you get the money out of reach of your long spending arms, into an investment or asset that cannot be easily liquidated
Great points. The only thing I would add is when you start to <a href="mutualfunddirectory.org">invest</a title="invest" your savings use mutual funds. They spread the microeconomic risk.
Great article. I love the last bullet, # 5. Dr. David Jeremiah mentions this in one of his books that parallels to your comment:
The more you have, the more you want. The more you want, the more you spend. The more you spend, the more you need. The more you need, the more you have to have.
POint #1 and #3 are great to me. #1 is something that people usually don't get. They think..."I need to save and can't enjoy life because I am saving." I believe that motto leads to a lot of strife in the saving process. #3 is always great. Find some type of niche (that is relatively low) and look to monetize.
Great list of tips. I appreciate how you phrased 'find alternative means of acquiring things'. You could have easily said something to the effect of 'do without' here but instead made it a purposeful decision. Making the decision in the moment gives the power back to the person making the decision which is a whole lot more empowering.
Paying yourself first is absolutely the way to go. If there's one personal finance tip everyone needs to learn and implement, that's it. Removing the money from your 'discretionary' funds is key to building wealth.
@brettgreene Good tips. You got me on two of 'em.
I look for such article along time,today i find it finally.this postgive me lots of advise it is very useful for me .i will pay more attention to you ,i hope you can go on posting more such post, i will support you all the time.
Treat yourself just like you would any other creditor and force yourself to pay the bill to yourself on time.
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@VAinParadise Hi Dawn.Would love to connect with you more about VA things
Great list of ideas!! I'm looking into a bartering situation with an organization so I can get some studio time with the potters wheel. It will save me hundreds.