My 10-year- old- self was a rock of determination. I wanted to earn money and that’s all there was to that. I worked in the neighborhood selling cookies. Later on, I sold whatever I could; including tickets to all the shows I wrote, produced and made sure I starred in. By the time I was 11, I was entrepreneurship bound.
I worked my way through college. With each pay check, I thought I hit the lottery and stashed as much as I could away. I quickly learned that spending less and saving more was something I couldn’t put a price on, peace of mind.
It’s never too late to start saving. Whether time, age or circumstances have forced you to look at money differently–saving can be seem less. Here’s how.
You Can't Put A Price On Piece Of Mind
- Easy save; pay yourself first. It can be as low as $5 or $10 but start a “you” fund and put money away.
- Real simple: pay with cash! It will force you to think twice before you buy it.
- Adapt the 14-day rule by taking a wait and see approach. Chances are you’ll lose interest in the item. It’s fine to lose interest. If you lose the item because it’s gone when you go back to the store, there’s always another.
- At the end of the day, take all your loose change (or dollar bills) and drop them into a huge jar. Unless you have sticky fingers, you’ll save a small fortune in a year.
- Drink water. Water is FREE! Even if you choose bottled/filtered water, it’s still cheaper and healthier than other choices including high sugar and fat-filled lattes!
- Eat at home. When cooking, double up on the recipe and freeze a batch for another meal (soups, casseroles, lasagne are great items to freeze).
- Don’t throw out fruit. For instance, that ripened, gently bruised banana can be peeled, cut up, frozen and added to a smoothie.(TID BIT: Think of the expression “Going Bananas.” It’s from the effects that a banana has on the brain. It’s a miracle fruit, high in fiber, potassium –a natural sugar and low in salt.)
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- Take lunch to work. It’s cheaper and healthier.
- Buy generic; you and your family will save a bundle. The only difference between the two, often but not always, is marketing.
- Another way to save is to buy one terrific all purchase cleaning product. White distilled vinegar works wonders all around the house and even on leather too. Combined with baking soda, on certain surfaces, and as a laundry detergent, it doubles its cleaning power.
- When you leave home, turn the lights out, heat down and air off.
- If you don’t use it, cancel it. This includes memberships you don’t use, magazine subscriptions you don’t read, as well as cable and satellite stations you don’t watch.
- Avoid spending triggers. Be aware of places that trigger spending, including browsing on the internet. Or, when you’re over-stressed and need a pick-me-up (try walking or yoga instead).
- Barter. Money doesn’t change hands. Just favors.
- Don’t hesitate to ask for a better deal. Even request a better rate when it comes to utility bills or doctor’s bills. You’d be surprised what’s negotiable.
- Consolidate your loans. It might be worthwhile to consolidate your loans into one low-rate package. Look into the various loan consolidation packages – even a 1% reduction on a $10,000 loan saves you $100 a year – and your loan is probably bigger than that (so the rate cut you could get is probably bigger).
- Keep a journal and write down everything you spend. It will help you to edit or at the very least, it will open your eyes.
Save Money, Change Your Life
Do you realize what a difference saving just $10 a day could make in your life? Sure, it might be difficult to give up those little luxuries; such as your daily coffee from Starbucks, buying lunch instead of making your own or even just substituting a drink for good old fashioned water. But, what if I told you what you could gain just by saving a small amount for a week, a month or a year? Would you make the effort to save that $10 each day for yourself or your family?
Save $10 a Day for a Week
Just one week of saving will mean an extra $70 that you wouldn’t have had without saving. You could buy the following:
- Purchase healthy groceries so that you can eat at home (and save more).
- Make an extra credit card payment to bring your balance down.
Save $10 a Day for a Month
Just by saving this small amount for a month will mean an extra $300 per month for you to work with. This can make all the difference and allow you to:
- Buy a new warm winter coat.
- Save for retirement.
Save $10 a Day for a Year
Now this is where things get exciting. If you save $10 a day for a year, you will have $3650 by the end of the year. This can be enjoyed by spending it on:
- A down payment on a new car.
- A Re-investment to make some more money.
Pay Off Your Credit Card Each Month
What’s my best tip to do this? Have only one. Really; that’s it. I’m all for keeping it simple. It’s less to spend, less to remember, less to pay off and more peace of mind. Building credit the hard way means having to rebuild it and all the stress that comes from making bad choices.
A fair question I ask myself when I’m not certain of the stakes is,—“Is it worth it?” And, I’m not just talking about money. I’m thinking of all the decisions we make that, when looking back, design our personal stories. All of us have them, stories to tell, and if we’re lucky, we have people to tell them to and more chapters to write.
What Can’t Your Live Without?
Ask yourself that very question. That if you had nothing else or if all else failed, what can’t you live without? I know I can live with a less fancy house, smaller and less unique than the home I built and drew upon like a canvas. Sure, it hurt to let that house go and the memories that came with it. That’s only part of my story. There’s the other story. Without it, there would be no meaning for me. I can’t live without the people who depend on me. Whom I love and they love me just because. Who fill the house with their voices, their scents, their moods, knowing that their home is a safe place they long to come back to. That right there is the profit of my investments. I won’t put my life on credit or borrow against time. The price is too dear.
How Are You Saving?
Organization and lifestyle Coach
Ronni Eisenberg is a pioneer in the field of organization and author of ten books on getting organized, including Organize Yourself which has sold over 1 million copies.
For over 40 years she’s helped millions of people with some of life‘s most overwhelming tasks-from how to find balance in their lives and manage the enormous daily stressors that consume their time. She’s made numerous appearances as a motivational speaker, product spokeswoman and media contributor. Her work includes home good design and corporate and personal consulting. Her focus now is to share her knowledge with others through her blog, The Organizing Confessions. Ronni hopes her experience can provide valuable insights and teach people how to make the important choices that will add value to their lives.
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