One of the few things I remember from my high school years was my Economics teacher instructing the class to put away 10% of every paycheck. And don’t ever spend it! “Every paycheck?!” asked my classmate in horror. “Every paycheck!” answered our teacher. I wish I would have listened to him. There is hope for us all, and these money saving tips from time.com, and cnn.com can help put us all on the right financial track.
Make saving a normal everyday habit
Starting off will seem very difficult, but if you make it a habit, it will start to feel normal. Be patient, and don’t give up on it too soon. Setting up an automatic transfer from checking to savings can help also, if you don’t see it, you won’t think of it.
Focus on one money saving goal at a time
According to results of a study done by the University of Toronto, the stress of thinking about multiple goals will bring uncertainty, and failure. Prioritize your goals by choosing the one you deem the most important, or most in need of. Once that is accomplished, move on to the next. You can also choose to make an umbrella goal, which is, try to see all of your goals as interconnected. For example, if you need a car, but would love to take a trip, start picturing your money goal as a road trip.
Imagine a future you
One of the factors that keep people from saving for the future, is that they’re not connected with their future money goals and needs. Try using a calculator like T. Rowe Price’s, it will help you see how retirement savings contributions translate into income in retirement. Leaving visual reminders of what it is you are saving for can also help. Try leaving a picture of that car, or house near your computer, where you do your computer shopping and bill paying. You can also see what the future you will actually look like, with the app AgingBooth you can see yourself as an old person. One study showed that interacting with a virtual image of yourself in old age, can make you save better. It’s worth a shot!
Ignore raises and bonuses
When the thrill of a bonus or raise comes our way, sometimes we want to celebrate or buy a big ticket item. Don’t do it. Have that extra transferred into your savings immediately, and don’t think of it. Use mind over matter and convince yourself you never got that raise or bonus.
Remember that impulse buying is a bad thing
The trouble with all of these shopping websites is they have made it so easy to impulse buy, but for your own sake, you have to be smarter. Research and buy big things like plane tickets far in advance. Sometimes if you leave items in your online shopping cart, the retailer will email you a coupon. Another trick is to look at, or think of an item in terms of how many hours you would have to work to pay for it. Shopping for holidays and birthdays at the last minute will often lead to spending more that you should, so plan ahead.
Face your spending habits
Many people do not read their credit card statements. This is not good, for one, you always want to make sure there is not something amiss (an over charge). Also, seeing exactly how much you spend on take-out food, and adding it up for the month, may make you look at take-out food differently.
Here are just a few small quick tips
Cut out cable TV, opt for Hulu, Netflix and Amazon Prime. Instead of going out to dinner with friends several times a month, host a pot luck, and choose a Netflix movie. Make coffee at home, and you know you can buy the bags of Dunkin Donut and Starbucks coffee to brew at home also. Look up blogs and Youtube videos for beauty treatments, you deserve to look good, but not to spend all of your money for it! Don’t try keeping up with the “Jones”, this will make you broke and unhappy. Read a personal finance book, there are several out there, and knowledge is power. Do not feel you are missing out because everyone on social media checks in from a different restaurant every week. I love my FB friends, but that is throwing money away. Map out your financial goals, set what you have your eye on, and how much you have to put away each month to get it. If you think you cannot live without certain little perks you are wrong, think of your future when you spend today.