First, develop a budget. Saying that you are going to save money, and actually doing it are two different things entirely. It’s easy to say that you’re going to save money – buying in bulk or going out to eat less often, etc. When it comes down to it though, when its time to make the decision – how easy and quickly do you fold? It’s 6:30 in the evening. You’re exhausted from work. You have the groceries at your house, but you just don’t have the energy to make dinner. Well, this is a rare occasion, you can go out to eat tonight, but tomorrow – it’s sitting at home at the dining room table. Sound familiar? What happens the next night when you’re tired again? Before you know it, you’re eating out on a regular basis, spending money. Your budget idea has just blown away in the breeze.
Instead, try actually writing up a physical budget and posting it somewhere you will see every day. Have it in front of your face when you’re at home – reminding you that you are on a mission. It will be harder to forget that you made a promise to yourself, if you can actually see the numbers. Make sure to be as diligent as possible with your records, recording every dime spent. At the end of the month, see if you don’t have a few extra bucks lying around. Perhaps you can use that money to pay your bills…or maybe a little treat for yourself instead.
Moving on, another suggestion I’ve heard a number of times from friends and family is one that many of you are not going to want to hear. Eliminating one of the many vices in your life (cigarettes, alcohol, or worse) can make all the difference in the world when it comes to saving money. Consider what in your life you don’t “NEED.” You’ve been smoking cigarettes since you were 17, let’s say, and you just don’t think you can do without them. Well consider this, over the course of a year you might be spending as much as $3,000 dollars on cigarettes alone. Plus, consider all the other costs associated with smoking like additional hikes to your health insurance policies, cleaning costs, and dental care. All in all, smoking is an expensive habit – plus it’s disgusting. The patch, for example, is one hundred times cheaper and won’t continue to cost you money over time. Just something to consider.
Lastly, one sure fire way to save money is to eliminate the urge to “go out.” Now, that isn’t always easy of course, and going out to dinner or to a bar can be a great way to relax and hang out with your friends. But, what if instead you invited your friends over to your house or apartment. Ask each person to bring a little something (alcohol, food, games, etc) and you can have your party at a fraction of the cost. It might not be perfect for every occasion, but once in a while it can be a good decision for your wallet.
Now, I know you have some other money-saving tips of your own. Please share them, for the benefit of our other readers. Either post them as a comment below, or on our Facebook page. We can’t wait to hear what you have to say.
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