17 Tricks and Treats for Saving Money
Sock some money away and treat yourself along the way
Do not save what is left after spending, but spend what is left after saving. ~ Warren Buffett
I’m not sure how you feel, but if the 4th richest man in the world says to save money first — spend after, I’m prone to listen.
And I’m almost sure you’d agree with my experience with saving money — It’s HAAAAAAAAAAAAD!
So let me share with you a fun and practical way to sneak up on this issue with the Trick and Treat method.
The right mindset
You are not going to save money. Let me repeat. YOU ARE NOT SAVING MONEY. Why are you not saving money? Because that’s just too boring and chances are you’ll give up within a week of starting. It’s kind of like dieting. Once you say the word, your hunger increases ten-fold. So never say your saving money for fear the very word, ‘saving’, will drop you in a pit.
So what are you doing? Since we’re sneaking up on this issue, we’re looking for ways to trick the system. You know the one. The system that is out to take every last dime you currently don’t have.
Listen up — You’re not going to lie, cheat, and steal, but you are going to use your smarts, your charm, and your daring to con the very system that is conning you out of your hard-earned income.
Sneak up on this system by picking one or two items from the following list. Start with those and practice them until you’ve mastered the concept. Then add another and another.
To master some of these tricks may require an attitude adjustment, a lifestyle change, and some up-front work. But wouldn’t it be great to keep some of the money for yourself that is leaking from your wallet? You bet!
- Budget — I know it’s a nasty word, but it works. In the beginning, before you get good at this, you’re going to run out of money before your budget time period expires. Suck it up and stay with the plan!
The habit of saving is itself an education; it fosters every virtue, teaches self-denial, cultivates the sense of order, trains to forethought, and so broadens the mind. –Thomas T. Munger
- Shop from lists — This is going to take some self-discipline because we’re all prone to impulse buying whether it’s a candy bar or a new car. Buy only what’s on your list and nothing else. If you think you just can’t live without something you see, jot it down to go on your next buying list. That will give you some time to think before you spend.
- Wait on the sales — Waiting is not something most of us like to do but it does allow you to keep more of your money, especially when buying big-ticket items like appliances and electronics. Keep a list of items you need and wait for a good sale before purchasing. After some time practicing this, you’ll have learned which stores have the best sales and what time of the year they promote them. And yes, you can wear a smug smile as you purchase the item you want at a 50% discount.
Money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver. –Ayn Rand
- Teach everyone in your household to cook — Woohoo! In most cases, buying the ingredients and preparing meals at home can make a huge cut in what a household spends on food each month, which includes eating out and drive-through. How many times have you picked up fast food on your way home from work because your family is hungry and you’re too tired to cook? News flash — husbands and teenagers are absolutely capable of putting a meal together if the ingredients are in the pantry. So spend some time teaching them the survival skill of cooking their own food.
- Buy your clothes at a quality resale shop — This is really a no-brainer. There is an abundance of really good shops that carry quality goods and designer brands that are marked down 50%–80%. And even better than that is the sales they consistently run throughout the year. I’ve gotten wonderful clothes this way at ten cents on the dollar — yes, that 90% off.
- Limit loans and credit card debt — This blows my mind, but there are a lot of people that never consider the interest they pay on loans and credit cards. It’s much like the mindset buyers have toward shipping charges. They hardly consider them unless they are extremely high. I’ve known people whose interest charges on their loans and credit cards each month equal a new car payment. Just think how quickly your savings account would grow if all the money you’re spending on interest was deposited there instead.
For any pursuit to be worthwhile it needs to benefit us and increase the quality of our lives. Will learning the tricks of saving money do that? You judge for yourself after considering the following list of benefits that are like a reward or a bag of treats, even your very own money tree.
- Money is available during times of disaster or emergencies
- Day-to-day life is less stressful
- You’ll have a larger measure of security
- You can accomplish long-term financial goals
- You can plan for and acquire large-ticket items without additional debt.
- You’ll have financial independence
- Your family life is more stable
- You have the freedom to make better purchasing choices
- You can fund additional educational needs
- You can accomplish some of the goals on your dream list
- You can invest in your future and retirement plans
If we command our wealth, we shall be rich and free. If our wealth commands us, we are poor indeed. –Edmund Burke
The best reason to save money is the fact that we live in an unstable world where economies, governments, and society are in constant flux, leaving us little or no security.
A man who both spends and saves money is the happiest man, because he has both enjoyments. –Samuel Johnson
Originally published here