Learning to budget is not something that is accomplished overnight. It takes practice and some hard-learned lessons to understand the impact that saving money and spending responsibly has on your daily life. Entrepreneur Don Gayhardt (who is the CEO of a successful financial company) would agree that if you are struggling to find ways to save, think of alternative ways to stash away a few dollars here and there. It takes time but soon enough you will see the benefits of your hard work.
Cut Down on Luxuries
Everybody deserves a treat every so often, but remember that moderation is key when you are trying to be thrifty. Avoid unnecessary spending by finding cheaper alternatives to activities. Not sure where to start?
Rather than go out for cocktails every Friday with your coworkers, create a rotating system at each other’s houses for drinks. The markup at bars can be outrageous; why spend $12 for a top-shelf drink when it costs under $4 to make?
The same concept applies to your morning cup of joe. Don’t waste the $5 every morning at the drive-thru cafe on your multisyllabic beverage of choice. Grind up your preferred brand of beans at home before brewing them in your personal coffee maker. There are so many choices these days for both beans and coffee makers that there is undoubtedly something out there you will like. It’s no white chocolate Snickers mocha with almond milk but it can save you close to $40 a week.
Don’t get a mani-pedi every month; instead, find DIY methods to rival nail salons. Learn how to take care of your digits on your own while saving your pennies at the same time.
Rather than spend unneeded money on a cable TV package, look into alternatives. There are so many streaming services available now that cable TV is no longer as necessary as it once was.
Budget, Budget, Budget
Think of the most financially responsible person you know. Their financial health is not thanks to magic; this person has learned how to sensibly budget and spend accordingly. The word “budget” might sound daunting, but it is the key to responsible spending. Make a list of all your bills and additional expenses and total up the cost, then calculate how much you earn per month. Look at where your it is all going.
Are there places you could cut costs? What habits could you change in order to save money?
What are your goals? Where would you like your finances to be one year from now? Six months from now?
Track all your spending. Yes, all of it. Whether you stop at the grocery store for a loaf of bread or fill up your tank with gas, make sure every single penny is accounted for.
Use a spreadsheet to help you stay on track. Seeing the numbers in front of you can have more of an impact than just imagining them in your mind.
The sacrifice is worth the reward when you are attempting to save money. It is not always easy, but there are many everyday ways to conserve your hard-earned cash to benefit you in the future.