Monday, August 6, 2007

10 Ways I’m Saving Myself- One Piece at a Time

I wanted to point out some ways that I have changed my habits and actually saved myself money. Hopefully this will motivate me to continue and be a list you can refer to so you can see where you may be able to cut back in your own life.
  • I said NO to the gym. I have a ton of workout tapes and pieces of equipment at my house. I made a deal with myself that if I actually started a routine and stuck with it for a year I would allow myself to re-enlist at the gym. Well, I have exercised off an on, but the fact that I have trouble finding time to work out tells me I would not go to the gym on a regular basis either. And, when I do work out, I am finally using all that “stuff” I bought.

    PS: if you don’t have a bunch of workout stuff, Denise Austin has a daily workout program on Lifetime TV. Free- if you already subscribe to cable.

  • I got a library card. I am the first one to praise the Cash4Books site for their generous offers to buy my old books, but just think of how much I could have saved if I had checked those books out instead of buying them. Now, I go to the library and check them out. I recently bought a real dud for $15 because the library didn’t have it…. I guess there was a reason for that, lol.

  • I buy generic when possible. I have found that most store brands are just as good as the brand name. I have also seen a few cases where the products are manufactured by the same company. This really only saves me a few cents per product but hey, that adds up!

  • I cut up my credit cards. Finally! Every last one. For a long time I kept them around “just in case”. I thought I was keeping myself from stressing out about emergencies. However, since I got rid of them, I am more at peace because I am not scared that I will use them.

  • I rebuilt my emergency fund. Now I have a backup in place of my credit cards. Having the actual cash is MUCH more relaxing than the though of relying on plastic.

  • I take my lunch to work. I also bring my own sodas/water and keep them in my mini-fridge so I don’t have to spend extra money in vending machines.

  • I give myself a budget. A lot of people hate budgets, but how can you make it through the month or the next two weeks if you don’t at least determine how much you have to spend on gasoline? I am not one of those people who budget for every little thing, but some things are really important. I used to have a budget category called “stupid junk I probably don’t need” I would put $50 in it just so I had some “fun” money. I am trying not to do this now in order to really get my debt paid off, but it just goes to show that you don’t have to have a strict or traditional budget to make it work.

  • I assess wants vs. needs. When you are trying to pay off debt as quickly as possible you have to get rid of unnecessary spending. I have to remind myself that right now what I really WANT is to be debt free. Believe it or not, you can actually buy that (by paying the mess off). In order to get my major want right now, I really have to curb other spending. I got a Nintendo Wii as a gift and I really WANT some more games, but I can’t afford that right now. However sometimes I have to convince myself that things like groceries are needs and I can’t put that extra money toward my debt this month.

  • I continue to educate myself. I am reading other blogs on finance and reading books that others say have helped them. It doesn’t seem like an important step, but it really is. If you are here you probably already know that. The biggest thing I have learned is there is not a magic pill or quick and easy step. Getting out of debt and building wealth are tough work. In the age of broadband connections and 24 hour stores we are used to getting things quickly. Wealth comes slowly.

  • I blog about it. Duh, right? But, it is helping me. I write (or type) out my plans and it helps me stick to them. I read about what others are doing and it motivates me. If you don’t want to start a blog, at least start a journal.

Wow! I actually made it to ten. Hopefully something here will motivate you in your own goals. If nothing else, just remember there are others out there going through the same thing!! I’m with ya!

1 comment:

Fabulously Broke in the City said...

I do almost everything you do too.. except for cutting up credit cards - I need them to float me for my company expenses like eating out since I travel all the time.