When you have decided on the best strategy for how you will save and spend, note of the following tips. This advice applies to all of us, no matter whether you are in debt or in the black, saving or enjoying your savings, controlling your finances or lost in a sea of numbers, etc.
The best way to curb spending is to draw up a budget. For one month, note down what you spend and save. This will allow you to see where you can cut back costs and save more for the hard times. Knowing exactly how much you’ve got to spend should help you avoid buying unnecessary things.
2. Cut costs
We can ALL afford to cut costs somewhere. Just take a good look around your home and see how things are run. Is the TV left on standby? If so, switch it off fully because it’s still using electricity. Do you drive everywhere? Buy a bike (the money saved on fuel for your car will be worth the cost), which is great exercise too. Is Saturday fastfood night? Replace it with healthier options. I know that sometimes healthy food looks more expensive, but they’re more filling than unhealthy options, and you aren’t left bloated or sluggish. Think BIG if you have to e.g. cut your mortgage by renting out rooms.
3. Focus on yourself
It’s time to stop comparing yourself to other people you know. If your best friend just bought a new handbag, that’s nice for her…but now is not the time for you to be keeping up with the Joneses.
4. Co-operation in your community
If you’re the type of person who respects other people’s property, then maybe you could swap items with other people you trust to save costs of buying new outfits. That way your wardrobe can always be fresh, but cheap. Remember the friend in tip number 3, ask to borrow her new bag instead of getting your own. Establish guidelines on who’ll be responsible for repairs, lost property, and dry cleaning, and never lend what you cannot afford to lose (financially and emotionally).
5. Money doesn’t bring happiness
Point number three is the most important on this list. It is the common cause of why we obsess over getting more money. When you stop following others (everyday Joes or celebrities), you will naturally find yourself wanting less and less. Suddenly your car is more than sufficient, so there is no need for one similar to your friend’s. Your clothes still serve their purpose, so there is no need to rush out to buy what Rihanna is wearing.
Focus on YOU and YOUR LIFE, because when your debts spiral out of control, no one will have that weight on your shoulders but yourself. There is no guarantee that your loved ones will (be able to) help. No famous people will step in. It is in YOUR hands.