by Gregory Thomas
Did you recently make a "New Year's Resolutions" to start saving more of your money this year? How's it been going with that goal so far?
Like any resolution, unless some action is taken on your part, nothing will ever change. That's an unfortunate fact.
For example, if your New Year's resolution is to lose weight, you WILL have to change a few eating habits and/or exercise regularly. If your goal is to quit smoking, then you WILL need to make an honest effort to stop smoking. Period.
If you are really serious about saving money and are willing to make a few changes in your spending habits, then read on.
Key To Your Success
The key to making your resolution become a reality, is to set a 'goal'. In other words, what do you want or need the 'extra' money for? Are you saving for a new car stereo system? What about a family trip to Las Vegas?
Point is, when you have something to strive for, saving money becomes ten times easier. Why, you ask? Because it is something YOU REALLY want! You want to acquire this goal.
Once you have a tangible goal to shoot for, establish a price range that you will need to reach. In other words, how much is your 'goal' going to cost?
- A new car stereo system - $200-$700, depending on quality.
- A trip to Vegas - $350-$1800, depending on distance, hotel, and gambling habits.
Start Saving Your Money
Start off just a week at a time. Decide how much you need to save per week in order to reach your goal. Use these tips to help save money each and every week:
Avoid Eating Out: This may be your number one money saver depending on how often you dine out. Trips to restaurants and fast food 'joints' can quickly add up to be an expensive bill. Try and limit your outings to once a week, or better yet, once a month. On other days, pack a lunch or cook at home. Not only will you find yourself saving money, but you'll be eating healthier at the same time.
Adopt The "Do I really Need This" Approach. Before you purchase anything, ask yourself if you really truly need to have it. Whenever you are tempted to buy something, ask yourself this question: ' Do I really need this new item, or do I just want it?' You may be surprised to find that most of those purchases you simply just want to have and can probably get by without it (at least for now).
Put A Limit On Entertainment Costs. Who's to say that you need to spend $150 every time you have a night on the town? There are a number of activities that don't cost much like miniature golf, bowling, movies, picnics, camping, museums, scenic spots, local college sporting events, city parks, beaches/rivers/lakes, and the list goes on and on. Point is, be creative and have fun without spending all your hard earned money.
Don't Let The Kids Have Free Money. How often do you find your children saying 'Mom/Dad, let me have a few bucks!' Many of us don't mind, or sometimes are too busy at the time to put up an argument. Regardless, this will cut into your savings potential, and delay you from achieving your goal. Instead of just giving your children money, make them earn it. Teach them the value of money and they will also learn not to spend their money haphazardly since it doesn't just "grow on trees".
Stash Your Savings In A Special Place. Don't forget to do this. You wouldn't want to spend the money that you've worked so hard to save. Designate a special container for your savings where all the extra money can be put. As they say, 'Out of sight, out of mind', right? Maybe even a specially designated bank account to take the risk of spending out of the picture.
-- NOTE -- Take extra special care in where you keep your container, and who you tell about it. This is your personal goal, so there is no reason the whole world has to know, right?
These are only a few money saving tips that you can implement into your day to day routines. Keep in mind though, these aren't your only possibilities to help put some extra money in your pocket, but they are some of the easiest to implement into your daily life.
Take time to reflect on your current situation. Really analyze your expenses and see where you might be able to 'cut-back' to save more money.
Remember, you and only you control the amount of money you save this year.
You'll find that when you set a goal that is important to you, saving money is really not that hard. If it is important to you, then you will make the small sacrifices to accomplish that goal.
Best of luck in attaining your New Year's Money Saving Goal!
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