Friday, February 18, 2011
Many people find it hard to save money for many reasons from limited incomes to impulse buying urges to a feeling that saving a couple dollars really doesn't mean anything in the grand scheme so what's the point.
The truth is that anyone can save money and do it in ways that work within their financial considerations without putting undo economic stress upon oneself. It just takes some resolve and focus. The key is remembering that money is power. This concept is not exclusive to the very wealthy or financial elite.
A very simple example- if you want to buy a soda for $1.19 at the local convenience store and you only have 75 cents and no credit card on you, then you are Prevented from buying the cola. That is a loss of power- you can't afford it so whether you want to buy it or not is moot- you're unable. Now, if you have $2 in your pocket, you then have the means to purchase the soda and acquired the Power and Control to determine if you will. The decision is solely yours because you have the financial means to acquire the soda.
Saving money gives you power and control over your own destiny.
Here are some general tips and strategies for saving money that in time can be used for fun things and experiences later on.
- If you devote a full calendar year (365 days) to putting money away in a jar, and every weekday you put a small dime and every weekend day you drop in a quarter, in a year's time, all that loose spare change is now $52
(5 weekdays x 10 cents; 2 weekend x 25 cents = $1/wk x 52 weeks = $52 total)
- Let's say over the course of a full year, you eat at home 6 days a week instead of a restaurant or fast food place, and you gave yourself a $1 tip for the time and effort to prepare the meal, as you would a server at a restaurant... after 1 years' time your "Tip Jar" would have $312 in it to use on something enjoyable
($1 tip x 6 days/wk eating home = $6 x 52 weeks = $312 total)
- If you get your hair cut once a month (every 4.5 weeks) and it costs $20, you will be paying $240/yr on haircuts. Now, let's say you got your hair cut every 6, weeks instead... that would be about 9 cuts in a year instead of 12. You would save $60 in a full year's time.
- Let's say you go to a laundrymat to have your clothes washed. You go every 7 days to wash two loads. If the total for washing and drying two loads comes to $10 then over a 365 day calendar year, you visited the laundrymat 52 times for a total of $520 to wash your clothes. Now, if you go every 8 days instead, that makes it 46 visits per year x $10 each per visit = $460. By delaying washing your clothes by one day, you would have saved $60 over the course of a full year.
So when you take the 4 simple money saving tasks that were listed, and if you did all four tasks for a full 365 day year- putting small change aside daily, tipping yourself for eating at home, and minimal time delays on getting your hair cut and laundry, the Total savings would be $484 . That's just about the price of a 32GB iPad and without using your credit card and paying interest... All for doing next to nothing to alter your life. This is money which otherwise would be wasted..a dollar here.. 50 cents there.. now you have some Power.
Hope those ideas helped or at least sparked some thought.
Posted by Susquehanna at Friday, February 18, 2011