Saving money seems to be on everyone’s mind these days, whether cutting back on lunches or turning the shampoo bottle upside down to salvage one more shampoo out of those last few drops. Having this extended “recession” impacting everyone in one way or another, whether worrying about keeping or getting a job, or managing today’s household budget on an income stuck in “yesteryear’s” salary, means a greater awareness of saving money whenever possible.
Fortunately there are many tips for saving money available from every imaginable source, whether from a blog, online article, local community paper, magazine articles, as well as entire books on the topic. Many of these wonderful money saving ideas have been around for decades, but many are novel suggestions that have cropped up recently addressing our current financial times.
The real “trick” of course is following through on any or many of these tips for saving money and actually consciously and deliberately saving money.
Below are a few tips for saving money that may be off the beaten path, addressing behavioral changes for saving more money.
1. Save More by Saving Less
People often make the mistake of being too motivated and aggressive about saving money in the beginning, without having a plan. Be careful of pulling out too much from your paycheck to go into savings in your initial enthusiasm. If you find yourself pulling most of your money back out of savings every month to cover your expenses, what you’ve lost is not only the potential accumulation of savings, but your overall confidence in your ability to save.
Instead, outline a more realistic budget (The Budget Kit book comes in handy here) and see how much money you really need from the paycheck. Then save a much smaller amount and vow not to touch it unless there is a true emergency. You will not only end up saving much more cash, but gaining a great deal more confidence. For help creating a realistic budget check out the Udemy course Create a Budget that Works.
2. Replace One Daily Expense
Find one small daily habit expense that adds up to more than you want to admit and change it.
For example, if you love the flavor of hazelnut in your coffee or tea, rather than do the Starbucks pump and spend an extra .75 for your favorite flavor, buy your own big bottle of syrup for $7, add a small amount to a small, portable container and add it to your daily drink. This will last you months and save you considerable money.
Best of all, you still get to enjoy your hazelnut!
3. Pick One Money Handling Habit to Change. A few examples could be:
One day or week or month, try going cold turkey and use only cash. You’ll be amazed how fast money disappears when your money is tangible again.
Enter the ATM, debit and cash expenses into your check register, software account or other tracking system on a daily basis rather than putting it off for a week. Taking in that information daily can have a powerful impact on your spending.
If you like to shop and browse and always manage to spend money doing so, one day a week decide to be a free spirit and leave the cards and cash at home other than the basic needs. Or stay out of all stores or any online shopping for that day.
4. Be Resourceful Maintaining Your Lifestyle on Less Money
As a movie buff, use the offers in the Entertainment books or other entertainment programs online to buy a bulk of tickets for your favorite theatre at close to half price. Even though you may not be able to use your tickets the first week of the movie, you certainly have the satisfaction of knowing you can still enjoy your favorite movies, at a reduced rate any time you want.
5. Change Your Language and Change Your Life
Saying “It’s only xx dollars” can be an expensive mindset. This is an easy way to justify your spending, without having to face the mounting total of all the “this is onlys” being spent every week.
“We’ll never be able to have …” “I’m useless at saving money” can be debilitating mindsets and discourage any lifestyle changes. It may be true that, at this time, there are things not financially available to you or your saving skills are lacking. That doesn’t mean change is not possible. It is. And all these situations are temporary – not forever. When you start to change your language, you can start changing your life.
Learn how to Create a Budget that Works with an on-demand, online course from Udemy.
About the Author
Judy Lawrence, MS Ed., is a Financial Counselor and Money Coach in Albuquerque, NM, founder of www.moneytracker.com, and the author of the best-selling book The Budget Kit: Common Cents Money Management Workbook 6th Ed, in print for over three decades with over 425,000 copies sold.
She has appeared on CNBC, Style Network, many national news networks, radio shows, online interviews and more. During her media interviews, presentations and consulting, Judy shares fundamental money management tools, concepts, and behavioral psychology developed and gleaned over the past thirty years from sitting at thousands of kitchen tables (physically and virtually) and guiding people towards a healthy relationship with money.