Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Ways to Save Money

from Simply Stated By RealSimple.com by

"These are tough economic times, and lots of people are feeling the stress. If you’re trying to cut down on your spending, try following some of these strategies:

1. Pay cash. Studies show that people find it much easier to spend money when they’re using a cash substitute (they also find it easier to cheat or pilfer!). Keep yourself in touch with cost, by using cold hard cash.

2. Focus on small items first. When you buy an expensive item, it’s easy to toss in unthinkingly a lot of smaller items alongside it – items that you might have otherwise have spent a lot of time considering, and which add up to a lot of $$$. So pick out smaller items first, then the larger item. Buy the software, the mouse, the mousepad, and the other bits and bobs, then choose the computer.

3. Don’t buy too much at one time. If you’re buying too many things, you stop paying attention to what you’re getting. Any one item seems insignificant. I call this “shop shock” or “drive-by shopping.”

4. Don’t buy anything at a bargain store that you haven’t bought before at full price.

5. Before paying, review each of your purchases with a skeptical eye. Don’t buy anything you’re not sure you want and can use – this is particularly important with clothes. I often ask myself, “Do I feel like wearing this tomorrow?” Sometimes, I realize I’ve picked something out because I can “use” it – but really, if I don’t love something, I almost never end up wearing it, no matter how useful it might be.

6. Don’t tell yourself, “I can always return it”; remind yourself, “I can come back if I decide I need it.”

7. Make a list and stick to it.

8. Don’t buy anything that needs to be a specific size unless you KNOW the measurements you need.

9. Don’t shop when you’re hungry. Even for non-food items.

10. Don’t shop as an activity with friends. It’s easy to spend more than you intend, or to buy something you don’t really need or want, when you’re distracted by conversation. Find something else to do with your friends. Have lunch, go for a walk, run errands together (in high school, my friends and I used to do errands together all the time, and it’s a great way to turn a nagging task

into something fun).

11. Be very skeptical of anything that’s on sale.

12. If you don’t shop, you don’t buy. Stay out of stores."

I am not sure I agree with all of these like #2 and #10. If I don't pick out my computer first how do I know what else I need? Just be careful with the add-ons. Shopping with my shopping pals is the best. But I do like most of Gretchen's ideas.

Here are a few of my own tips:
I have been working on this lately in preparation~ for the big R word..Retirement. Now I know Jim will never really retire and that is great, we'll just call it "Jim's Rewirement."

1. Think of money in terms of accumulation not acquisition. This is hard in our material society but I have found it helps me when I want to buy something I don't really need. Online banking is great for watching your savings grow anytime you sign on .

2. Do comparison shopping. I am still boycotting Safeway and I know I am saving lots on food by going to Food Max. It is not my favorite environment but I am not there to enjoy the ambiance (this is rare for me). I would rather get a better price and forgo the storm symphony over the produce, the Starbucks, etc. I will admit that I do go to Whole Foods for the ambiance, but that is rare and I only buy a few things.

3. On discretionary purchases, walk around just holding the item or pushing it in your cart~revisit your decision before you get to the check out counter. I learned this one from my girls. Sometimes just knowing you can have it if you really want it ~ is enough. Many, in fact most purchases are emotionally based.

4. When clothes shopping ask, "How does this fit into my current wardrobe?" I am much more apt to buy it if it is compatible with something I already have. If I buy something more trendy...I don't spend a lot for it. I don't buy a lot of things that will last 10 years because I don't want to keep them that long! Not that I am any kind of a fashion person, but I do know that it is like decorating in many ways. It is not so much what you paid for it as how you put it together that makes an outfit work.

5. Be prudent and wise with your money. Save ~but don't hoard. Build security while also enjoying your $. In a nutshell~balance! Let your assets be an important part of your life, not your whole life. Use some of what you have to bless others. Being a tightwad is annoying and boorish, being generous whenever possible is a good thing.

6. Sometimes second hand things can be a great way to save and still enjoy what you are aching for! Shop garage sales, thrift shops, etc. Say yes to something someone else may be giving away if you think there is any way your can recycle it. This is how we got practically everything we owned when we were first married and we still have a lot of those things.

7. Stay Organized so you don't forget what you have and where it is.
There is little more frustrating than knowing you have something you need, but not knowing where you put it.

8. Rarely Pay Full Price~Just about ev
erything eventually goes on sale. Watch and wait! Then on the times you do pay full price you can remember all those times you didn't and feel better about it!

9. Coins add up whether you are saving or spending.

10. Credit scores matter. Pay your bills (not an option) and pay them on time. Avoid credit card debt like the plague it is. They say "nothing tastes as good as thin feels," well, nothing is more rewarding that actually owning what you surround yourself with either.

What can you share that has helped you
be wise
in saving and spending your loot?


Laura said...

Love this post. Great tips! Thanks!

Miss Jen said...

I love it...I need to implement this asap! I have been so busy with the Hazel situation that I am way behind on all my budget stuff...oops!

Miss Jen said...
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