One of the hardest habits to kick is an overspending habit. Most Americans spend as if there is no tomorrow and try to save the little that is left over setting themselves up for disaster. I’m going to show you how to spend less and save more.
The first and most important step is to cut up all of your credit cards and pay off your credit card debt. If you can, stick to using cash and a checking account for all your expenses.
Next, use three separate accounts that you fund with money. One should be for bills and expenses, another for savings, and the other for shopping and entertainment. You should devote most your money in this order to savings, bills and expenses, and then luxuries and entertainment.
Now, decide what items you don’t need in your life. Maybe you don’t need a house phone since everyone has cell phones in your household, or maybe you can carpool with one of your co-workers to work thus saving money on gas, and a car. These are the type of things that you can cut out expenses and put more money in your pockets.
If you don’t already have one, you should consider devoting any extra money you have left over from paying off bills and expenses, to a rainy day savings account. This account should be used in the event that you lose your job. You should keep about 6 months worth of your current salary in this account as a rule of thumb.
Upgrade your house with more efficient windows, more energy efficient appliances, to save on your bills. Also, be conscious of cutting off lights when they are not being used, televisions, and not to leave faucets running. All of these can reduce your monthly bills.
Reduce property taxes. Check your local property tax office and see if there are tax cuts you can use. For example, there is a major tax cut in Florida if you simply live there in your house for more than 6 months a year. What are some tax cuts for your state?
Consider eating at home more and packing your lunch for work rather than dining out at lunch everyday. This money right here can add up over time to equal hundreds of dollars that you can be saving.
Lastly, find free activities and events that you and your family can do around town. There are plenty of activities that are free of charge, like a poetry session, or a play, or going to the library to read books. You do not always have to come out of the pockets to be entertained. This will also help save you money.
These tips won’t make you rich or solve all of your financial problems, but if you follow them, they will definitely put a lot more cash in your pockets.