Smart Tips for Living on a Budget
Regardless of the time in history and no matter what the current state of the economy, no matter what the current trends are, no matter what the unemployment rate is or where interest rates are, some money-saving ideas always work and stay true.
Big changes come from small steps and if you determine to put even one of these many savings secrets into place, you will see big change in your life. You will now learn a variety of savings tips. You will learn how to best place your hard-earned money in a variety of down-to-earth ways. What you will learn about will set you up nicely in your day to day life.
Money Saving Tip #1:
The great Albert Einstein once said, “It takes a genius to see the obvious.”
Let these wise words guide you today. What he meant by that is that sometimes the simpler things in life are the most powerful … but because they are so obvious, we tend to ignore them, and not let them work for us.
One of the most powerful money making ideas is this: keep a daily diary of everything you spend. Go to the dollar store, buy a little book, and carry it with you wherever you go. Write down every penny – each single penny – you spend. It’s just as simple as that.
If you do this one thing, you will find that something magical happens in your financial life in only a few weeks.
There is something incredibly powerful about writing down each of your expenditures. It makes the flow of money through your life more realistic and exacting. It shows you simply and clearly just exactly where you are spending your money, on what and why. Once you know this, it becomes much easier to control your spending. You will feel empowered with self control and this will encourage saving.
Many people who have taken up this practice have not only learned something about themselves, which they never before understood, but they are often astounded by the simplicity of the lesson learned.
For example, a person could realize through examining their notebook that they actually spent nearly $1,000 throughout the year on diet soft drinks, snacks and candy bars! Since their job only brings in $20,000 per year, they realized that 5% of their entire income was being frittered away on something entirely frivolous. The person gave up the snacks and drinks, and found they had enough money to go on vacation the following year. If you had the choice between snacks and a much-needed vacation, which would you choose? Of course you would choose the vacation, we all would.
The point is, it was their daily expense log that helped achieve the insight and clarity they needed to realize control of their finances. That’s what a simple spending record will do for you – it will give you much needed control over your spending, and thus your financial life. There may be nothing but a 75-cent notebook and a ballpoint pen between your life of financial struggle and financial freedom.
Money Saving Tip #2:
Stop deficit spending! Stop creating debt— spending more money than you take in. It’s called deficit spending. Well, don’t do it! The same rules apply to you and me. Using those nasty little plastic cards may be the “Modern Way,” but it’s a debt making way and creates plenty of fools each new day.
Today, the average credit card holder is carrying around $8,000 in plastic debt!
Spending yourself into such debt with a credit card is certainly very easy, as many of you already know. The reason is psychological. When you give that clerk a credit card, it’s just not the same as handing over a stack of green dollar bills. Would you as readily hand over a pocketful of ten-dollar bills as toss a credit card across a counter? Probably not. This one is a no-brainer for most!
Credit cards put you in debt and keep you there. Even for people with good incomes, paying your credit card debt down to zero can be amazingly difficult. In addition, make no bones about it; credit card debt will sap your financial strength just as readily as an open vein will deplete your physical body of its very life force. Using a credit card by choice can quickly turn to using it for need. Once you get to that point, you are already in trouble and it becomes time to get some help.
There is no secret in freeing yourself from the credit card game. You must take out a pair of scissors today, cut your cards in half, and begin paying them back, slowly but surely.
Once you stop adding to the debt, even small payments will eventually, add up. You can get out of debt, if you are patient and self-disciplined. Once your cards are history, you must adopt a strict pay-as-you go policy. Instead of buying now and paying later, save now and buy when you have the full amount. This is key to being able to save.
Once again, stopping credit-oriented consuming is one of the most powerful financial tools available to anyone today. Why not pick up this tool and use it for yourself?
Money Saving Tip #3:
Sell all of your junk. That’s right; it’s high past time for a serious yard sale. Search throughout your house or apartment for every single item that you don’t really need, and then sell it all! Every last piece!
Take an inventory. The truth is, most people are astounded by what they own – and how much money they have tied up in items they no longer need and use. Why let it just sit and collect dust while it could bring profit instead in a good investment?
You could easily be $600, $1,200 … even $5,000 richer by the end of the week. As an added bonus, you’d have your place cleaned up, and you will have a fresh feeling of beginning all over again. A garage sale is an excellent way to start. Not only do you clean out your house, but also it often gives a psychological boost that helps people get control of their life and money.
Money Saving Tip #4:
Ben Franklin said long ago: “A penny saved is a penny earned.” Yes, it’s still true and still one of the most powerful moneymaking tips in all of history. Understood well within Franklin’s famous statement is the difficulty of saving.
It’s tough to save and much easier to spend! We all know that! That’s why every penny saved truly is earned – because it takes so much effort to hold on to that cash! If you can do it, it will work magic in your life. Having a savings account will de-stress your life. Imagine being ahead of your bills, rather than behind. When you are ahead of your bills, you entire life comes under your own control. You sleep better at night. Your mind is freer to come up with new ways to make more money and save more. Saving is contagious – once you let it get started!