Spring is a popular time to cut spending habits. Forget New Year’s resolutions. Most people have abandoned them by the first week in February, but once May rolls around, you start to feel the pinch. Summer is just around the corner, and you may be thinking about all the little ways you blew any chance to fund a fun vacation. Just wait a minute before you get depressed. There’s hope after all.
Use these tips to trim your spending while saving for the experiences that make life worth living:
Figure out what you really want from life.
Don’t just focus on the big picture, either. Include the securities and the luxuries you want day to day. A daily paper is a must for some people, but others only subscribe for the coupons—which they don’t use anyway! How do you want to present yourself? How do you want to be perceived? What kinds of actions do you need to take every day to support that image?
You answer those questions, and you’ll have a roadmap showing you exactly how to spend your money. Unfortunately, you can’t just raise yourself to higher standards in certain areas and expect to spend less. You also have to make decisions about what isn’t as important and prepare yourself to go without items which may have become part of your routine.
Find cheaper necessities.
Whether you need five organic, non-gluten, vegan meals each day or you’re in desperate need of a new luxury car, people are going to tell you that you’re wasting money. You have to ignore those voices and focus on the necessities you feel are relevant to your life. A realtor may need a luxury car to make sales in certain zip codes. Someone with severe food allergies may need a super-restrictive (and expensive) diet. You will not have fun making sacrifices based on other people’s opinions of what’s right for you.
Right now, there are senators who want to ban people on food stamps from buying bread. They think they should be buying flour and yeast instead. It doesn’t matter if these people are too poor to have working ovens, just like it doesn’t matter to your friends if you need 4G for work. People judge, so get used to ignoring it. What you can do is find your necessities at a cheaper price.
The Hustler Money Blog has excellent advice for buying brand new cars at the cheapest price. Using this strategy, you can expect to save 15 – 20 percent off MSRP, and you’ll still wind up with the exact car you want, down to the stereo features. There are effective ways to save on absolutely everything, as long as you take the time to look. Get creative. Sometimes, a surprise sale gives you an opportunity to save big over the long-haul. By using short-term loans to take advantage of them, you can wind up saving much more than you’ll ever spend on fees.
Set savings goals for big purchases.
We all have things we want that we can’t afford month-to-month. That’s why we have savings accounts, but money rarely goes there of its own accord. Think about your biggest goals and what it will really take to meet them. You won’t succeed by distracting yourself and waiting, unless your goal is one day being old and broke.
Figure out your big plans and what it will take to fund them. Then, put those steps in motion. Cancel the newspaper and put that $50 into a savings account each month. Stop sending Christmas cards to the whole family and instead send gifts to the people who thank you each year. Or, put your cable and cell phone on hold for two months to save for a fun summer trip. The possibilities are endless once you have focus.
Even if you’re struggling to cut spending habits and still have fun, you may need a title pawn to help you in the meantime. Come on in to Title Tree, and we can help you get the cash you need.