Do you think your financial position is hopeless? If you have a large balance of credit card debt and you struggle to pay your bills each month, you may begin to despair. Your daily life will become one of stress and that is even before you start to think beyond the short term and how you can possibly live comfortably in retirement. Doing nothing really isn’t an option but where do you start? There are a number of ways that people have saved money in the past, most of which are not too painful, and you need to ask yourself whether you have the determination and self-discipline to try them. Even a small daily saving adds up over time and the longer you persevere, the better you will feel, and the healthier your savings will look and will help people to reduce their debt problems they are facing because of over borrowing from high-interest lenders.
You need to set yourself some targets but not set them too high so you get discouraged and give up. You need to analyse your existing habits. Likewise, creating a surplus each month by using your credit card more is simply transferring the problem on to your card. There may be short term relief but it is no solution. The secret is to change your habits as painlessly as possible.
Why not charge yourself a fee for each ‘’luxury’’ you afford yourself? ‘’Luxury’’ is a broad term. You may not regard a beer as a luxury but if you resolve to set aside a dollar against each beer you drink, then you may build up a small fund, and possibly even have one less than you would have ordinarily. Not a bad thing! If you put those dollars aside every few days, you won’t notice they are gone.
Perhaps you can think of our small and regular purchases instead? The choice is yours and many things can be equally effective.
Out of Sight, Out of Mind
If you set up a system whereby money is always transferred out of your checking account into a savings account that is less accessible, you may even gradually forget that you have any more to spend in the month than the amount after that transfer. Ideally your savings account will not be in your bank so that any spending you make on your debit card cannot be taken from your balance.
At the end of the Day
Take a look in your wallet and pockets at the end of each day. You could put your coins, dollar bills and even $5 bills aside. If you put them in a jar the money will soon accumulate. As it builds, it will be tempting to dip into it so decide on regularly depositing that money into your savings account to remove that temptation.
If you enjoy seeing your money rise like this, you may even start to leave your credit card in your wallet and start to use cash more often so that you have some to set aside. That in itself is a good habit because you are not going to increase your credit card balance as quickly as you otherwise might do.
The Coffee Shop
Do you really need to go to one of these famous coffee shop chains each morning for a fancy drink? You will obviously have coffee in the house so you could take your drink to work. Some of these fancy coffees are not cheap but are you paying for the brand name?
Some Savings a Little Harder to Make?
• If you are taking a coffee from home, you might just as easily take your lunch. You can easily work out how much coffee and lunch is currently costing you. You will find it so much cheaper to take a healthy sandwich with you and by the end of the month, the dollars will add up.
• While this is not practical for everyone, walking to work is both healthier and cheaper. If you currently drive only a short distance, then you save on fuel while if you drive to the station and park up to then commute, get up earlier and walk. You’ll also save on parking charges.
• Apps will help you keep track of your spending, and budget in general. You can start to price check and even get refunds if you have paid too much for an item.
Some things are easier to do than others. However, if your finances are currently in a mess, you have to try at least some of them. No one has an excuse that they can’t make a coffee and their lunch, even if it is only every other day; it is a start. The more success you have, the more encouraged you are likely to be, and as a result, determined to continue. Think of the stress draining out of your body!
image source: https://cdn.pixabay.com/photo/2013/07/13/11/32/moneybox-158346_960_720.png