When it rains it pours so while you’re saving up for a rainy day, why not push yourself to save a little more? We show you how.
A practical guide by Penny K
Frankly, I dread meeting with my financial advisor, Mr. R. He’s a good 30 years older than I am, extremely astute about money issues and he cares, I know. But each time we meet he looks at me and says, “Remember what I told you about saving” I get the chills. Well hello there, Responsibility, come find a comfy seat on my shoulder why don’t you.
It’s not that I hate saving, I would love to save – if I could. I used to be worse with money but thanks to Mr. R’s practical advice, I find myself being more conscious about my spending and making a greater effort to save.
Here are some tips I’d like to share:
1. Cut the trousers according to the length of the cloth
In short, don’t spend money that you don’t have. Spending within your means sounds easy but with credit cards readily available it’s easy to cross that line. Don’t be fooled by the lure of credit cards, sure you get your Gucci bag on the spot, but bills not paid on time could mean death by interest rate. The last thing you want is to owe a bank money.
As a general rule, pay off what you owe first, i.e. phone bills, etc, and then work with what’s left. Also, avoid impulse buys. Make a list when you’re out shopping; don’t buy what’s not on that list. See something you absolutely must have? Think about it twice, thrice, four times, come back another day.
2. Don’t need to keep up with the Joneses
Certain comparisons can spur you to be better but where it comes to other aspects, comparisons do nothing for you but add unnecessary stress. Being content with what you have is the best way to go, but if you find that difficult to do, here’s what you can do:
- Find yourself blog stalking a girl who owns Chanel bags and Louboutins that you cannot afford? STOP. Instead, fill yourself with the riches of knowledge and information. Visit news sites like the New York Times, or art, culture and lifestyle websites like Penny! We don’t make you feel lousy, do we?
- Cut your visits to town from twice a week to once or twice a month. The less you see, the less you know and the less the temptation.
- Of course, we’re not saying dress like a hobo. Let’s face it, if you’re rich and you dress like a hobo you’re the Olsen twins, if not dressing like a hobo just makes you a hobo. Yet don’t spend it like Beckham; there are good buys to be found in flea markets and in stores during sales. Keep a lookout and you know we’ll keep you posted.
3. Don’t put off till tomorrow what you can save today
Saving up is truly one of those things you should try as far as possible not to save for a later date. The longer you drag your feet about it, the harder it gets. The more used to spending freely you are, the heavier the burden of saving. After all, the earlier you start, the more you will have left at the end of the day.
In future, settling down, paying bills, maintaining your household’s expenditure and bringing up kids will be phase worth looking forward to rather than one to dread.
Spending isn’t your answer to material needs, saving is. Money issues can weigh heavily, so lighten that load today and start saving!