How to save more money? Become "Wallet Aware"

That means, going back to cash spending, and you want to see how quickly you think twice about opening that wallet?

We have come full circle with money and credit. Years ago, when my parents got a credit card, they thought it was a great idea for security. Back then they got paid in cash from their employer, or if you did get a check you went and cashed it to pay your bills.

There was always that fear of being mugged, as people, especially seniors would carry all of their cash on their person. By going to a credit card, if your wallet was stolen you could cancel the card and not be out of pocket too much just inconvenienced. But the problem with this idea, is that the bad guys try to keep up with the latest and greatest technology, and no longer do we fear mugging as much as "identity theft".

But as great as credit cards were then and now, there is a side effect that no one seems to notice. That money doesn't seem to be an issue when you pay with credit.

For example: You need a few things at the store, you look in your wallet and realize you have ten bucks left until payday on Friday. You really wanted that new fancy shampoo before then. So, when you go to the store, and you look at the price on that new fancy shampoo, and then look in your wallet, you realize that at $8.99 you are not going to have much left for coffee etc until Friday.

So, instead of waiting until Friday to buy it, you whip out your credit card, and not only buy that fancy shampoo, since $8.99 on a credit card does not seem like much, but you add the conditioner and a few treats to the bill as well!

Does this sound familiar? Its like it doesn't count as much with credit than with cash. When you open your wallet and are staring at the cash, you think twice. You have to, because you know how long it will be until you see more cash right?

By becoming wallet aware, you will be able to get a rein on those extra expenses. But is carrying wads of cash around safe or any better? Now you see wads of twenties.. So how to save more money?

Try the envelope system. This is an old system, and has been around a long time. You take some envelopes and you write on your expenses that you need all the time. Such as groceries, gas, sports etc. You can figure out your own envelopes. Then out of each pay, you get cash, and you carefully get home, and you put your allotted money in each envelope. Now when you do your groceries, you take the money from the envelope and you put it in your wallet. You will now be wallet aware, as you watch the price of each item, and decide whether you really need it.

Some will argue that you can now use debit cards and this way you are still paying cash, this is true, but you can still overspend when you don't physically handle the cash. It becomes more of a sport when you use cash. You try and see if you can have money left over. If you want to treat yourself, you may watch your grocery spending or sports spending a little closer. Maybe you will take sandwiches to your kids next hockey game instead of the restaurant afterwards.. when you handle the cash, you don't want to let too much of it go.

When you use credit, it just seems to fly out of your hand..

Remember when you were a kid and got allowance? You had to figure out what you really wanted right now, and how much you would have to sacrifice to save for that toy, or how much extra work you would have to do to get more money. You didn't have credit cards and lines of credit to fall back on. For the most part, you did not have the "bank of mom and dad" either. They would tell you to save up for the toy.

So How to save more money? Go back to cash. Watch it carefully, see where it goes. Write it down if you need to, but chances are if you are carrying cash, and you have to start breaking into twenties or ten dollar bills, you are going to think twice before using it, and you will know where it is going. You know that once you run out that is it until pay day, which will scare you into making sure to keep back some cash.

My mother used to tell me, to always take a ten dollar bill at pay day and put it somewhere else in your purse, not your wallet, for "just in case" back then it could get you a cab ride if your car broke down, or a meal, or whatever... but the idea was, that as long as it was not in the wallet with the rest of your spending cash, it would not get touched. Out of sight out of mind as you did not have credit cards to rely on.

You can try the envelopes and see how that goes, as money saving strategies go, this works. If nothing else you will see where your money is going. Maybe you need to eat at home more, or walk more instead of driving.. By doing it all in cash, you are going to force yourself to take a good long look at where your money is going. Ten dollars on a credit card may not seem like much, but putting it out in cash does.

So how to save more money? Do you really need a second job? Before you work yourself to death, try and stop the bleeding of money first. See if by switching to cash you can plug some holes. It may just surprise you!