Most of us have been taught from a very young age by parents or grandparents that lived through the depression that the responsible thing to do is to save…. and save a lot!
But living in the generation where everything is so readily available… and can be charged or financed… spending seems to be the wheel most of find ourselves running. How do we break the cycle?
My biggest tip: use cash! Cash is much more difficult to part with than swiping your credit or debit cards. Using cash really makes the decision of “do I really need this” very easy. Cash is King, after all. Save for big ticket items. Not necessarily saving $30K for a new car… but surely you can put away a few dollars a week or month for that gaming system or washer/dryer you will be needing shortly! Saving and spending money you have saved also helps you determine if you are buying things your really “need.”
Keep good records… spending cash and writing checks makes it surprisingly easy to save money. It is a lot easier to save when you know EXACTLY how much you have in your wallet and your checking account! Using a financial program that you update regularly or keeping old-fashioned written records is much more accurate than checking your account balance online. Another trick to use is to write in LESS than you are depositing and you will always have a cushion that you are “unaware” of… helping you not only save but having an emergency fund when you need it.
Our banks have made it incredibly easy for us to save a few extra dollars as well. If you must use your debit/cash card, many institutions give you the option of putting the remaining “change” into a saving account and some as much as a dollar per transaction. This is also a good way to see how many times a month you “unknowingly” just “charge” things. Additionally, automatic savings can also be used either through your bank or a new bank… even online. It could not be easier to have $50 per paycheck put away for that new refrigerator than you not knowing that it’s ever been in your account!
Saving can be difficult, but “tricking” yourself into saving can be a breeze. You can try to put your money in another currecy too, that way you don’t feel like spending it so much, I try and buy bitcoin. Good luck… YOU can do it!
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