Many people claim not to have any money, I hear it all the time. Yet when I start examining their lives compared to mine, I see no reason why they too shouldn’t be able to save money.
Saving money doesn’t have to be as difficult as people make out that it is. I find that often the biggest obstacle to people saving money, is themselves. It’s a mindset problem, you convince yourself that spending the money on this or that won’t hurt the budget and that it is a good idea – “Fred Bloggs down the road has one, I’m going to get one too”. Before you know it, you have a heap of crap cluttering your house and no money left in your bank account.
There are literally thousands of different ways people can spend money, which also means that there are thousands of ways in which you can save money, all of which should help to improve your financial situation.
I have developed this simple SAVING acronym, which lists 6 easy money SAVING tips that will hopefully give you some ideas on ways to save money in your own life.
To be perfectly honest, smoking is a terrible habit. Quitting smoking will not only save you a tonne of money, but it has the added benefit of improving your health!
In Australia a packet of smokes can cost up to $20, that’s almost $1 per cigarette. If you were to smoke 10 cigarettes a day then you could be spending about $60-$70 a week on this habit (that’s over $3000 a year).
Alcohol can be another great money waster. If you decide to go out to the pub, or have a night out on the town, a drink can sometimes cost greater than $7-$8 dollars. Now i’ll admit that i’m guilty of spending more on alcohol than I probably should, but I have improved with age – sort of like a fine wine 😉
When I was younger, I used to spend a small fortune on a saturday night drinking alcohol, sometimes i spent close to $100 a week! Nowadays I normally buy a carton of beer every 6-8 weeks at a cost of about $50 a carton; It’s far cheaper than buying spirits or going out to have a drink. I just wish I could have seen how much money I was essentially drinking every week when I was younger and stupider.
I am constantly amazed at how much money people spend on trying to look good. I probably shouldn’t be surprised, considering the amount of money that is spent marketing products on the TV each night.
I believe it starts when we are children at school – we all remember the kid who had the brand new Nike shoes that cost $200, I remember thinking how great it would be if I also had those same shoes. Being a child, I didn’t comprehend that the shoes weren’t any more functional than my own, I was simply the naive victim of corporate marketing.
It’s not just clothing items which vanity can end up costing us a fortune on, there are hundreds of thousands of beautification products that claim to do everything from reduce the signs of aging to cooking you breakfast in bed… well not quite, yet…
My tip – Forget the fake tans, the $300 jeans and the weekly manicures – forget vanity! Be happy with who you are and how you look. If you can’t do this, then at least try to limit the amount you spend on these types of products.
Interest on credit cards or mortgages can be a killer when left to compound. Everyday you put off paying down your debt, is another day the banks are charging you interest on that money they loaned you.
Some credit cards can have interest rates of up to 20%, which can mean that if you don’t pay off the debt each month within the interest free period, you are going to be owing the bank a lot more than you started with.
Mortgages have better interest rates, but are normally far larger loans. Paying even an extra $10 a week into a mortgage can save you an entire year off your mortgage and tens of thousands in interest over the life of the loan.
There are heaps of mortgage repayment calculators on the net, it really is worthwhile understanding just how big of a difference a couple of dollars a week can make to your monthly interest bill.
Needs And Wants
Reducing discretionary spending is an excellent way to save money. The next time you are out shopping and you are about to buy something, stop and think – “Do I actually need this? Or is it something that I just want?” There is a big difference between the two and for some people the line can often be a little blurry, particularly if you are used to compulsively buying things.
If you are serious about saving money, then i’m sure you will make the correct decisions when it comes to evaluating if something is a need or a want. Then you can sit back and enjoy watching your bank balance grow, whilst reading the latest Monster Piggy Bank posts 😀
Everyone needs to eat, and for most people that means heading down to the local shops at least once per week to do grocery shopping. I don’t really enjoy the weekly grocery shop, but I do enjoy being able to compare the various products for sale. The fun bit for me is determining which item is the best value for money. I often leave the shopping complex feeling pretty pleased with myself that I just saved around 5-10% on my grocery bill, simply by looking around at the multitude of specials and making some frugal choices.
My best tip on saving money when grocery shopping – Make a list before you go and make sure you stick to it.
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