For as long as people have worked, there have been people looking for ways to save money. While the purpose of saving that hard earned cash varies from person to person, seems like everyone has a problem stashing money for a rainy day, to get an iPad, buy that new LED TV, or even to get out of debt. Of course, saving money is not hard, but saving enough money is a job unto itself. The first place I like to start is with the end rather than the beginning. I pick an item I am saving for, and develop a plan with short term goals. The sense of accomplishment is tremendous, assuming the goal is reached, which it usually is.
The biggest saving money tip I can share with anyone is: keep at it. Make a plan, and stick to it. However, if something creeps up and you have to raid your saving to accomplish an unrelated task, you have to be prepared to catch up or just put the goal off. Paying for a vacation for my family was going to be a tremendous expense, around $4000 for the resort and airfare. Sure, I could have plunked down some plastic and paid for it for two years, or I could save the money over the course of a year, and get away with not having that much liability on my credit cards. So the wheels started turning based on the standard 52 week year.
Of course, $4000 divided by 52 is around $77 a week, which is a tremendous amount of money to cut out of a family budget in a month, let alone every week. I had to get creative in planning, I decided breaking that amount in half would be quite easy to accomplish. That means around $40 a week to save $2000. Of course, $40 divided by seven is just south of $6 a day. Between trips to convenience stores, coffee houses, music downloads, and vending machine trips at work, many folks would be surprised to learn how fast $6 is reached. So by cutting back a few luxuries, and eliminating others, I made my goal in a year’s time. However, I also go lucky, because the hot water tank did not break, the car did not need tires, and the appliances held together for a change.
The other $2000? Well, that required a different plan. Because I have children, there are a lot of extra things hanging around my house that have not been played with for ages. Still, to be fair, lots of DVD’s, CD’s, and electronic stuff that was also just collecting dust. That is where the yard sale came into play, plus a fair amount of listing on popular auction websites. The money was literally sitting around my house scattered in different closets and even in a storage unit.
Anyone looking to save money needs to make a budget. Look at where the money is going, and see where you can cut back. Instead of buying a $1.25 soda from a vending machine, fill a water bottle from the water cooler or fountain. In lieu of buying a dozen donuts every Saturday, buy a half dozen. But set a measurable and achievable goal. There is no way I could have cut out almost $80 a week, but forty was entirely possible. How well did it work? I will let you know when I get back, without having to charge it.
lots of personal experience