Friday, June 12, 2009

Guest post: Change Your Mind About Saving Money

Thanks to Trisha Wagner from for this encouraging article:

When it comes to saving money, you probably fall in one of two categories. Most people are either really good at saving or really bad. If you fall in the latter category, you probably either believe you don't make enough money to put extra in savings or you lack a well thought out savings strategy. Here are a few tips that will help you change your mind about savings and get the ball rolling to a more secure financial future.

If you think you don't make enough money to save, think again. With the exception of individuals who are experiencing a severe financial hardship, almost everyone has the means to save some money. The following are tried and true (which makes them worth repeating) techniques to begin saving money today.

Increase your income
One of the most obvious ways to save money, although not necessarily the easiest, is increasing the amount of income you have to work with in the first place. Fortunately, there are many ways to add extra cash to your budget even in the current economic climate. While it is true that many companies are downsizing and letting employees go, unless those companies close their doors, they will need someone to do some work. Consider freelancing on the side, which is a relatively easy way to pick up extra cash for people with skill sets that others are seeking. There are opportunities out there for part-time seasonal work as well, especially as we enter the summer season.

Sell items you are no longer using
If picking up a side job isn't an option, you could de-clutter and make money by selling items that are collecting dust around the house. Yard sales, eBay, Craig's List or even your local newspaper are great ways to unload unused items while pocketing a few bucks.

Reduce expenses
Saving money is not always about making more money. For most people the easiest way to save money is by spending less. If you have never tracked your daily spending, that is a great place to start. Few people really know how much money they spend each day on miscellaneous items that they don't really need. Try writing down how much you spend (and for what) each day for a week or two. You will probably be surprised to see how much money you nickel-and-dime away each day. Once you see where you are wasting money, you can make appropriate changes to begin saving that money. Don't forget to review your monthly bills as well to see if you can reduce costs by changing cell phone or cable/internet plans.

Pay off debt
If you have debt, you will have to tackle that before you can save significant amounts of money. It is not impossible to do both at the same time. However, the longer you continue to lose money each month paying high interest charges, the less money you will have to put away for your future needs.

As you can see, saving money is not really that difficult if you set your mind to the task. In our society we have become so accustomed to easy credit that saving money has not been a priority or necessity for many families. Those times have changed, and if you still think you don't need (or are not able) to save money you are headed for trouble. By following the tips outlined above, you can get started saving money and laying the foundation for a secure financial future.

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t.kittye said...

This is timely, practical advice.

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