Given the economic problems in the world right now (internationally), saving money is becoming vitally important. For example, we are starting to see the prices or certain goods and services suffer from mild inflation, which means that having more cash at your disposal isn’t just a good idea; it’s almost a necessity at this point. Despite what you might have heard, saving money isn’t really that hard. Sure, it might require a bit more personal discipline than you might be used to, but it certainly isn’t impossible or even that painful. In fact, there are a number of practices and ideas which you can adopt immediately which will help you to put away a few extra dollars or pounds each month.
Perhaps the first thing you want to do is to eliminate your debts entirely or develop a solid plan for dealing with them ASAP. If you’ve already done this and you’re simply looking for additional ways to free up cash, you can move on to the next paragraph now. If you haven’t, then it should be pretty obvious that the money you’re using to cover debt repayments could be put toward savings, right? If at all possible, look for the absolute quickest and easiest way to get rid of a debt (like a credit card payment) so that you minimize interest payments (additional money paid in addition to the principal). If this means living “frugally” for a month or two so that you can pay off that credit card in two lump sums, then so be it. After this has passed you can reorient yourself to a comfortable budget and focus on putting the former debt repayment amount directly into a savings account, for instance.
A lot of people find it easier to approach the issue of saving money each month by setting very specific goals. In other words, if you aim to purchase a new car, then get out your calculator and find out just how much you need to store away each month in order to cover a sizable down payment (or the entire cost of the auto). Keep in mind, it doesn’t matter whether or not you decide to finance a vehicle or wait to make a purchase, you’re still going to end up sacrificing something. If, for example, you finance then you are exchanging a higher final payment amount (principal + interest) in exchange for the right to drive it while you’re paying it off. Conversely, if you decide to wait, you are eliminating the time you would have spent driving your new car in exchange for little to no accumulated interest or payments thereof.
Lastly, trim your expenses down to a manageable level and look for odd jobs. In fact, you might even be able to start a new business in your town, neighborhood or community which will allow you to meet or exceed your budgetary restrictions. Needless to say, this will allow you to put away some extra dough each month while expanding your balance sheet (which ultimately gives you more “breathing room”).