Spend Less, Enjoy More
Would you like to improve your financial picture in the coming months? Here are a some practical tips that can help you spend less and enjoy more without a lot of extra effort.
Spend less than you make.
Yes, it’s good old common sense, but you’d be surprised how many consumers don’t follow that simple practice. Put away the credit cards and decide that, for just one year, you won’t charge anything else. Then, set a goal for paying down the credit card debt you already have.
Spend on experiences, not things.
Research has shown that spending on experiences you can enjoy with friends or loved ones is more satisfying than buying more material objects. See if this works for you.
While it may be fun to shop with a friend, it’s easy to be swayed when your shopping buddy says, “That would look great on you. You have to buy it!” Save your socializing for things that don’t cost much.
Start saving more.
If your savings balance is zero, start with a minimal (but regular) deposit to your savings account. If you’re already saving, see if you can bump up the amount by 5 to 10 percent. Set a goal to have a specific amount in savings by the end of the year.
Set smaller money goals.
One study showed the farther away a goal seems, and the less sure we are about when it will happen, the more likely we are to give up. Start with small, achievable goals that will reap quicker results.
Learn about finances.
Read a financial book or magazine each month. If lack of knowledge is keeping you from investing in your future, make learning more about it a priority. Then, put your new-found knowledge to work for you with a good, sound investment plan. Of course, it never hurts to get professional help.
Keep better records.
It’s hard to cut unnecessary expenses if you don’t know what they are. Track where your money is going each payday.
Look at the small stuff.
Most of us have a few leaks in our budgets — those small, regular expenditures that can add up to big losses. Plug those leaks.