New Year's Resolution: Saving Money
Did you recently make a "New Year's Resolutions" to start saving more of your money in 2002? How's it been going with that goal so far?
Like any resolution, unless some action is taken on your part, nothing will change. If your New Year's resolution is to lose weight, you will have to change a few eating habits and/or exercise regularly. If your goal is to quit smoking, then you will need to make an honest effort to stop smoking. Period.
Since you are reading this article, you must be interested in saving more of your money. If you are REALLY serious about saving money and are willing to make a few changes in your spending habits, then read on.
Key To Success
The key to making your resolution become a reality is to set a 'goal'. In other words, what do you want or need the 'extra' money for? Are you saving for a new car stereo system? What about a family trip to Las Vegas?
Key is, when you have something to strive for, saving money becomes ten times easier. Why, you ask. Because it is something you REALLY want!
Now that your have your goal, establish a price range that you will need to reach. In other words, how much will your 'goal' cost? A new car stereo system $200-$700, depending on quality. A trip to Vegas $350-$1800, depending on distance, hotel, and gambling habits.
Start off just a week at a time. Decide how much you need to save per week in order to reach your goal. Use these tips to help save money each and every week:
* Avoid Eating Out:
This may be your number one money saver depending on how often you dine out. Trips to restaurants and fast food 'joints' quickly add up to be an expensive bill. Try and limit your outings to once a week. On other days, pack a lunch or cook at home. Not only will you find yourself saving money, but you'll be eating healthier at the same time.
* Adopt The "Do I REALLY Need This" Approach
Before you purchase anything, ask yourself if you REALLY truly need to have it. Whenever you are tempted to buy something, ask yourself this question: ' Do I NEED this new item, or do I just WANT it?' You might find that after debating about if you should spend your money, you really only WANT the new product and can probably get by without it (at least for now).
* Put A Limit On Entertainment Costs
Who's to say that you need to spend $150 every time you have a night on the town? There are a number of activities that don't cost much like miniature golf, bowling, movies, picnics, camping, museums, scenic spots, local college sporting events, city parks, beaches/rivers/lakes, and the list goes on and on. Point is, be creative and have fun without spending all your money.
*Don't Let The Kids Have Free Money
How often do you find your children saying 'Mom/Dad, let me have a few bucks!' Many of us don't mind, or some are too busy at the time to put up an argument. Regardless, this will cut into your savings potential, and delay you from achieving your 'goal'. Instead of just giving your children money, make them work for it. Teach them the value of money and they will soon learn not to spend their money haphazardly.
* Stash Your Savings In A Special Place
Don't forget to do this. You wouldn't want to spend the money that you've worked so hard to save. Designate a special container as your savings 'pot' where all the extra money can be put. As they say, 'Out of sight, out of mind', right?
* NOTE -Take extra special care in where you keep your container, and who you tell about it. This is your personal goal, so there is no reason the whole world has to know, right?
These are only a few money saving tips that you can implement into your day to day routines. These aren't the only possible sources for extra income. Reflect on your current lifestyle, and see where you might be able to 'cut-back'.
Remember, you and only you control the amount of money you save. You will find that when you set a goal that is important to you, saving money is really not that hard. If it is important to you, then you will make the small sacrifices to accomplish your goal.
Best of luck in attaining your 'goal'!
Written by Gregory Thomas, editor of http://www.SavingSecrets.com - Effective money saving tips, articles, newsletters, and ebooks all accessible directly at our website. Stop by and see what's available to you: http://www.SavingSecrets.com