Monday, October 13, 2008

Save Your Money

Save Your Money………A Way to Live an Abundant Life!
Saving Money has nothing to do with your income... strange huh! Previous generations understood that and lived their lives aware that one ought to conserve, save for a rainy day... we instead spend, spend, spend... what happened?

We could learn a lot from previous generations...

Saving is a virtuous activity………. Living within one's means is good...

Putting money away for a rainy day is admirable...

So what are we to do..............Start saving as a way of life. I don't advocate a radical change but the introduction of "saving a little at the time;" gradual steps will start creating the conditions for change.

Let's try to tackle some of the resistance to saving:

  1. I don't make enough to save …….. You must understand that if you become conscious of "saving" on a monthly basis you will become conscious of your spending. This may mean getting a jar in which you consciously put a Dollar a month away for the first few months... it is the act, the discipline, the awareness that's good; it will trigger the virtuous habits of planning your future. Don't talk yourself into failure because your means a limited. The habit will cause you to bring your consumption into focus and each dollar you keep will help your family prosper.
  2. Get rid of Debt and Save at the same time. This is where I differ with most experts. Most want you to pay off debt first and once you are debt-free to start saving. My approach takes into account that those who do not develop the habits of saving never get to the point of eradicating debt. I advocate that you find a token amount, say $5, and save it every month no matter what, and to take the rest of your additional money towards debt. So if your income is $125 more than your budget, put $5 in a Savings account and $120 towards paying your debt. (You will need to be watchful of your spending in order to consistently live within your means.)
  3. Credit Card Companies are not your friend! (Duh!!!) They lure you to get you... This Gotcha game is evident is how they have reduced the number of days you can pay for your credit card bill. "Once you are on the hook for a large Credit Card Bill they will raise your interest rate at will because something in your credit appeared that they don't like. This is simply extortion.........
  4. Living within your means is good. And yes this means getting new friends if the ones you have don't appreciate this fact about you. You don't needs to buy a $2,000 TV when your budget is barely for $500. There is a great TV out there for you for $500 and you should not feel ashamed of that. And please don't get me started on 0% financing so you can spend more. You don't have to become friends with the Sales Clerk at Best Buy... You don't have to feel a sense of shame because you are not splurging on a Ginormous Big Screen TV. Living within your means is good and don't let anyone out there make you feel bad about it.
  5. Saving is the first step towards financial security... Those who save and start building a nest egg learn not only the value of money but start opening themselves to good investment vehicles. None are possible unless you become a habitual saver. Even buying a home start by pinching your pennies... it is a virtuous cycle that starts the journey towards financial stability.
  6. Teach your kids that it's Good to Save...They will learn from your example. They will learn by how you do things NOT what you tell them... save yourself a lot of grief and practice what you preach... they will mimic the good and the bad in you. Make is a fun activity to put money aside for a rainy day. It that means a Quarter a month - so be it!!!
  7. When shopping learn to say NO!!! Not as a way to deprive yourself or your family but as a sign that you care about them. Learn to say No to Salespeople; if you are in the market for a $300 Washing Machine - say No to anything else. Don't let clerks decide your budget - you do!
    When saying "No" the sales clerks say it firmly, categorically, and clearly. Put aside the misplaced guilt because they pry on that - the worst thing you can say is "I don't know..." might as well give them your wallet and disrobe at that junction.
  8. A survey was done recently on how families shopped at the supermarket and found that many could save between $75 and $100 each month. The biggest culprit was impulse buying; of course a shift away from processed foods to more vegetables, fruits and beans tended to be both healthier and cheaper.

Start Saving your hard-earned money any which way you can - do it intentionally and methodically; your life will change for the better.

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