This morning, on the way to work, I was listening to the radio and they were talking about the new iPhone 6 that will be coming out very soon. A joke was made about how Steve Jobs is still pimping people from the grave. I laughed and thought no more about it until I got to work and realized that perhaps there was some truth to that statement. It’s pretty evident that we live in a culture of consumerism where everybody and everything is constantly vying for our money. I get an average of 100 emails a day from sites such as Groupon, Rue La La, Wal-mart, Ebates, etc. all advertising the latest and greatest gadgets. There’s always a sale and they’re constantly trying to get you to spend, spend, spend….and if you’re not careful, you’ll surely fall headfirst into the spending trap.
So the big question is how does someone save in a culture where there is so much pressure to just buy everything in sight?
Below are some strategies that will help you not to succumb to the spending demon:
1) Just say “No” - It’s just one simple word…right? How hard could it be to just say “no”? You’d be surprised to learn that this particular word has caused a lot of grief where most are concern. How many times in your life have you been told “no”? “No you can’t have this….no you can’t have that”. When you were younger, you thought you’d just die when your parents told you “no” you can’t have those new pair of Jordan tennis shoes that all your friends at school are wearing. Let’s just be honest….the thought of not getting what we want makes most people cringe. Statistically speaking; most people have a hard time saying “no”. Why? Because psychologically they view this word as something negative. However, learning how to say “no” is one of the best words you could ever say. Saying “no” is a part of being successful….it isn’t easy though. Nothing in life that’s worth anything is easy. Saying “no” actually takes discipline especially where spending is concern but once you get the hang of it, you’ll appreciate it. Saying “no” allows you to think long and hard about whether or not you really want or need to purchase a particular item. It’ll save you a lot of heartache and pain and keep you from regretting those impulse purchases. So make it a priority to start saying “no” to spending and saying “yes” to saving.
2) Learn to be content - Now that you’ve developed the skill to say “no” you now must learn to be content with what you have. Learning to be content is learning how to be satisfied and knowing when you have enough. You don’t have to have the latest and greatest gadget or piece of clothing contrary to popular belief….you can’t take it with you when you die. Most people have a very unhealthy relationship with money. They feel pressured to maintain a certain lifestyle that validates them with their peers or colleagues. There’s more to life than just money. Remember money can’t buy everything. It can buy you happiness for only a certain period of time, however eventually you’ll long for something deeper. People need people to survive….no man is an island. I wouldn’t want to be stranded on a deserted island with a million bucks if it meant that I couldn’t see my family again. Life is about developing genuine loving relationships. It’s about spending quality time with the one’s you love. Focus on developing an attitude of gratitude and learn to appreciate the people and the things in life that don’t take money to enjoy.
3) Become a smart Shopper - Getting what you want shouldn’t cost you an arm and a leg. Learn to coupon or find other smart ways to get it for less. There are plenty of websites that help you match up coupons to the store circulars in your area. Most items go on sale after a certain time so if you develop some discipline you’ll get a better deal if you wait. No matter what you purchase, make sure you do it with cash and stay away from debt. There’s no faster way to get in a boat load of debt than by using a credit card. People who use credit cards for their purchases end up paying far more for an item than if they used cash. Why? Because the majorities of people don’t pay the full balance off at the end of the month so they incur interest and believe me, interest does add up. Don’t be naive when it comes to debt. In addition paying with cash will help curve impulse spending.
So take the time to do research and find the best deals on the things you want to buy…you’ll be surprised at how much you can save. Being a smart sharper means being discipline by being a good steward over your finances.
4) Develop a savings strategy - Whoever said that saving money is easy was wrong. It takes discipline to be able to save money because the mind-set in this country is just the opposite. The more stuff you have the more clout you get. The more you go into debt to drive those nice fancy cars and wear those nice expensive clothes and live in that big old house that you can’t afford, the more people will respect you….or at least that’s what most people think. If you’re ever going to become financially independent then you’ll have to change the way you view money…i.e., your mind-set. You’ve got to become intentional with your savings.
See Money Savings Strategy Below:
Step 1 – Set a written goal to save a certain amount of money by a certain date. Make sure the goal is in plain sight where you can refer to it often.
Step 2 – Next, set up a budget. Most people dread doing a budget because they feel it puts too many restraints on them but a budget will hold you accountable which will ultimately help you stick to your savings plan; however the budget must be realistic….you’re only shooting yourself in the foot if it’ not. Don’t leave anything out….and yes you do need to include spending money in your budget but be reasonable and remember the point is to save money. It’s okay to tweak the budget every now and again to ensure that you’re on track to reach your goal. The main thing is that you must stay focused and don’t deviate.
Step 3 – Third, automate your savings. The amount that you set aside for savings in your budget should be the amount you have automatically drafted out of your checking account into some sort of savings and/or retirement account.
Step 4 – And finally, rinse and repeat. Stick to this strategy and you won’t go wrong. Once you’ve experienced the satisfaction of reaching your savings goal, you’ll have the confidence to do it again and again and again and before you know it, you’ll become a Super Saver!
What money saving strategies do you implement to save money and not become slave to the spending demon?