by Catherine Pratt
Looking for an easy way to save money as all your monthly bills have just come in and now you’re feeling completely broke? Do you wish that you could keep more than what constantly goes out? Before you can start to save, you need to understand your attitude towards money as this is what will determine whether you’ll be successful or not.
I Don’t Know Why I Don’t Have Any Money
Do you just instantly run out and buy the first thing that pops into your mind? Do you buy a latte every day on the way to work? You need to be aware of what you’re buying and when you buy it. It’s the small draining of your money every day that can be one of the biggest culprits of why we don’t have any money
Stuck in a Rut Routine
Are you mindlessly doing the same thing over and over cause that’s what you’ve always done? For example, do you end up eating out with your friends a lot? Maybe suggest going for a walk or a hike on the weekend instead. It would be free and you’d be getting exercise as well. This is a really easy way to save money and you won't end up feeling deprived afterwards. In fact, you'll probably enjoy it more because you're doing something different and getting to talk more. Bet you also have some pretty cool memories as well. More so than simply eating in the same restaurant week after week.
Do you use the ATM across the street and pay the extra service charge because you can’t be bothered walking two blocks further down the street to your own ATM? Pay attention to what service charges are slowly eating away your bank account. This is a super easy way to save money. Also, how often are you going to that bank machine? One option may be to take out money once a week and tell yourself that’s all you have to spend. Cash is very easy to lose track of it. As soon as we put it into our pockets, it just seems to disappear.
When you want something do you instantly run out and get it? If you do want something, wait before you buy it. See if you still want it at the end of the week. It may turn out to be something that really isn’t all that important to you. Also, try not to put yourself into debt for instant gratification. Yes, you want a new couch. It would be far better to save the money up for the couch first instead of putting it on your credit card and paying interest for months afterwards. That couch could end up costing you far more than you ever imagined.
Keeping Up With the World
Are you just trying to have what everyone has? Your sister bought a car, so now you want a car too? You’ll be far more happy knowing that you’re out of debt rather than being stressed out from trying to figure out how you are going to pay your lease payments just because you wanted to keep up with everyone else. In reality, people really don’t care if you have a new car or not. You need to believe in yourself and have the confidence to only buy those material objects that are really important to you. Along with this attitude comes the feeling that you may need to buy expensive gifts because in order to look good. You feel like you’re not a good friend or relative unless you do. We need to be aware of using money to bolster our own egos and our self-worth.
What do you think about money?
How do you feel when you think about money? Do you find yourself always wishing you had more? Do you think the only way out of your situation is to make more money or to get another job? It’s far easier to keep the money we have than to do something drastic like get a second job. It’s our thoughts towards money that will have the biggest impact on well we handle our finances and how much we actually get to keep. If you think you’re poor then you are poor. If you keep saying, “I can’t afford…” you will remain always unable to afford anything. Try thinking, “I don’t wish to spend my money on that right now.” By doing this you will start to change your entire mindset in regards to money. You will then be in control of your money not the other way around.
Do you believe you’re good with money?
If you tell yourself, “I can’t save money”, your subconscious believes you and you really won’t be able to save. If you keep saying, “I’m horrible with money” you will be horrible with money. Listen to what messages you’re telling yourself and how you handle money. If it’s not positive, change it.
How closed is your mind?
As soon as you say, “I can’t afford it” you have closed yourself down to even thinking of any possible ways to achieve what you want. There are usually lots of options we just don’t bother to think about them and just say, “I can’t”. You may be spending money on items just because you have closed your mind to any possible alternative. It’s important to be aware of any potential opportunities. Here are some examples:
Are you a two car family?
Would it be possible to only have 1 car? Most people will instantly react and say they have to each have their own car. It’s an absolute necessity. Think about it. Do you really need it? How often does one sit in the driveway never being used? Try it for a month. The savings in lease payments, gas, insurance and registration could add up to a huge saving. If you really need the other car for your weekend activities, it would still be much cheaper to rent a car for the weekend than having your own car for an entire year.
- do you pay for call display or call waiting when you don’t really need it? Just because the phone company says it’s cheaper if you buy the package.
- Do you subscribe to the movie channel even when you never have time to watch it?
- Do you have extra cable channels that you never watch just cause the cable company suggested it.
- Do you have magazine subscriptions that you never get around to reading?
- How many things are you paying for just because you haven’t considered the option of not having them? Companies know that once we get in the habit of something we tend to keep it.
Open your mind to potential savings opportunities and you may also realize what is really important to you and what really adds enjoyment to your life.
Starting to Save
Once you’ve thought about what your attitude is towards money, try the following:
Track Your Spending
Try it for a month. Write down every single thing that you spend money on. You may be shocked at how much you’ve just spent on eating out. A good way to start saving is to realize where your money is going. You may also get a better understanding of what your attitude towards money is and realize you need to change some of your thought processes.
Set up a Savings Account To Pay Yourself
If you just try to cut back on things and never actually put that money you saved somewhere, it may just end up being spent on something else. Pay yourself that savings. Put it into a separate account and don’t touch it unless it’s an absolute emergency. That cute coat that’s on sale now does not count. It’ll give you more motivation the more you see your savings grow. Make sure you set up a habit of always adding money at certain times. For example, from your mid month pay you commit to always saving $100. After 10 months, you have $1,000. You’ll have even more if you find an account that offers you a decent rate of interest. It doesn’t take long.
Attitude is Everything
You really need to take a look at what attitudes you have towards money. Some of them you probably gained from your parents or friends along the way. You need to question them and figure out whether they’re helping you or hindering you. Once you become conscious of your thoughts you’ll be able to see where you may be mentally short circuiting your saving efforts. Then you’re well on your way to being able to manage money instead of the money controlling you. Once you have a healthy and positive attitude, you will be able to figure out what areas you can easily cut back on and what makes the most sense to you. Saving money is really not all that hard and can be as simple as changing your thoughts. Soon, you’ll be wondering why you didn’t think of it before.