Saving money is simple math. You spend less than you make and save the rest. It’s easy, right? Not so much. While most of you can add and subtract easily, there is something missing from the equation….behavior.
I’ve done it a million times. Make my budget and know what bills need to be paid and how much I have left over to spend. Then I go shopping or out to dinner and that figure gets completely disregarded. “I’ll just worry about that later, no big deal.”
It is a big deal! It’s frustrating and prolongs that feeling of moving backwards- not forward.
Your spending habits and lifestyle could be sabotaging your financial future. I’ve been there. I used to want to buy so much, have the latest, and show off a lifestyle that I couldn’t afford. How stupid.
Spending money is so easy (at least for most), but saving it and using it to pay off debt is hard. It will take so much longer to accomplish than it took you to spend it all.
It took me years to change my habits and lifestyle and find a truly happy place. Contentment was not an easy thing to come by, but it was a journey worth traveling.
Here are a few tips I have to help you transition from spending more than you make, to saving hundreds every month
- Analyze your wants vs needs – Go to drastic measures
- Limit your exposure to temptation- don’t go shopping or even look online at the things you want.
- Get rid of your credit card- credit it makes it too easy to buy something without thinking about the implications.
- Use cash only- break up your expenses into categories and set aside cash for each thing. Don’t allow yourself to go over that amount.
- Focus on simplifying- Remove things from your life, don’t add
- Check your bank account daily- keep a close eye on your money and know exactly where it’s going and what you have.
- Set a goal – Say you want to save or pay off $500/month. Make it priority number 1.. you get paid and that money goes directly to your savings/debt. Figure out how to make it with the rest. Maybe you need to eliminate some lifestyle expenses, or work more!
All of these things are easier said than done. Behavior modification can take a lonnnnng time to take effect. Take it a day at a time and slowly push yourself to commit to certain lifestyle restrictions. The thing is, this doesn’t have to be forever. Do this as long as you want to get ahead. Then, you don’t ever have to feel bad for splurging on what you love because you’ll have the money to do so!
Don’t get down on yourself if (more like when) you mess up and spend too much. It’s bound to happen! Just get back on it. You might not be able to change the past, but you are in control of how you move forward.
I love personal finance so much! It’s an empowering subject that affects our lives in a lot of ways. I want inspire you to keep at your money goals! What lifestyle expenses have you cut? Comment below =)
“Wealth is not about having a lot of money; it’s about having a lot of options.” – Chris Rock
Thanks for Reading,