The Easy Way to Spend Less Money
Spending money, yes it’s true: it can be a relief. Most of the time however we spend too much. The reason is simple: through time we’ve built up a lifestyle that we want to maintain. We believe that it is necessary to buy things to gain ‘status’ in our community and society in general. However, from time to time we need to reevaluate our standards. We need to adapt our habits to our own economic situation and the economic perspective of the world. In other words: the economic climate has shifted. We too need to adjust ourselves.
But don’t worry. It isn’t as difficult as you might suspect. Spending less money doesn’t have to be a bad thing. I would rather state the contrary: through the process of rationing our expenses we can learn the true value of money. Our focus can then shift from material obsessions to an appreciation of live in general. Yes, money gives us a certain type of freedom. This may sound contradictory but: if used wrong, money can turn us into slaves as well. It is important to be the boss of your income and not to let your budget boss you. Here are some simple ideas to keep track of your expenses:
- Make a budget. Set a fixed limit to the amount of money you can spend in a month time. If you set a goal in advance, it will automatically stop you from buying things you don’t need. Setting goals awakens our inner competition. Look at it this way: if you achieve your goal by not going over your limit you have won your battle and you didn’t spend too much. This leads us to our next point.
- Keep track of your expanses. This can be as easy as keeping two empty jars and filling them with receipts of your monthly expenses. One jar is used for necessary expenses like rent, groceries, transportation and so on. The other jar gets filled with all the other unnecessary expenses like eating out, clothes, general shopping and electronics. At the end of each month take your time to add the bills up and evaluate your expenses. If your ‘leisure expenses’ are higher than the necessary expenses you can suspect that you’ve been spending too much.
- Spend less together. Well, it is fun to shop together. It also seems true that shopping together often results in spending more. The conclusion is simple: only go shopping alone, yet spend less money together. It is important that the whole family joins this quest for spending less. If you all cut expenses here and there, you’ll notice an increase of savings fast and you have the support of those who really care. If you live alone, try to convince a friend to join your cause. Having someone to report to helps you keeping focus on your goals.
In the end, spending less money isn’t something you should see as a burden. There are so many alternatives for enjoying life and having a satisfying lifestyle. Instead of going out for dinner, invite friends over to a home cooked meal. Next time they’ll invite you. Instead of buying expensive new clothes, look at second hand shops or buy online at cheap retail stores. You don’t need to book your vacations somewhere overseas; there might be beauty and possibilities for relaxation in a region near to where you live. Don’t deny yourself the good life. Look for cheaper and original alternatives and you might find that these alternatives are even better. Give it some time and you might never feel the need again to return to your old, money-spending life.