When it comes to money, many of us are not good at saving it. We live hand-to-mouth and paycheck-to-paycheck. We deplete our savings in an attempt to make it through one more week or worse yet, to keep up with the Joneses. This puts us in a vulnerable position. One act of fate would be enough to put us in a serious world of financial hurt but it doesn’t have to be this way.
You don’t have to make a lot of money to be a super saver. That’s right! With the right attitude, you can become one of the most frugal people on the planet. I know this for a fact because when the going gets tough, the tough get going. And, it’s not about how much money you make. It’s about how much you’re physically able to put away for a rainy day and to be quite honest, saving money is very exhilarating. For every dollar that you save, it’s one less dollar that you have to work for and pay taxes on. This act alone is enough to change your life. Financial freedom is at the height of my priorities.
I speak from experience when I say I know what it feels like to be perpetually broke. Circumstances in my past made it difficult to save. I either made too little or I spent too much. Now that I have some rather large goals for 2012 (Planning a book tour to promote Confessions of a Closet Coupon Clipper: How to Survive and Thrive Without Relying on Your Nine to Five), I can say that I am right on track. Without a concrete plan of attack for this year, I will not be able to purchase a RV and become the full-time traveler that I dream of.
Here are a few ideas that I would like to share with you that will get you started on the road to becoming a successful saver in 2012:
- Recognize the difference between a “need” and a “want”. Sure it’s nice to have a new car or the latest electronic gadget but it’s really unnecessary. As long as you have your basic needs covered and possess an ounce of creativity, you can get by in this life without buying everything in sight. Ask yourself whether the purchases you are making are valid and before you know it, you’ll be a discriminating shopper with money to spare each and every paycheck.
- Pay yourself the same way you would pay any other bill that you have. This is one of the easiest and most effective ways to accumulate savings. Set up Direct Deposit and have the money routed to a savings account. This allows you to determine exactly how much you want to put away each pay period. It also gives you the opportunity to earn interest on the money that you have in the bank.
- Find alternative sources of income. I am a big fan of multiple streams of income. Rather than rely on one job to supply me with the money I need to survive, I have side gigs that provide me with small amounts of cash each month. This money is used to pay for groceries, gas, car insurance, and whatever other financial obligations that pop up unexpectedly along the way. Having multiple sources of income keeps me from being dependent on a full-time job to get by.
- Be creative when acquiring things. Rather than run out and buy the first thing that you see, why not shop around for the best price. Better yet, do without it if you have to. If that is not an option, see if you can get it for free from Freecycle or if you can make it yourself. You’ll be surprised how being patient will save you money.