Cultivate Five Good Spending Habits to Save Money and Take Control of Personal Finance
Of possibly a million solutions out there for saving money and taking control of personal finance perhaps the best one is to develop good spending habits. Spending a little time to develop good spending habits would cultivate long lasting financial planning qualities. How can one develop good spending habits to save money and take control of personal finance?
How to Develop Good Spending Habits?
We all have a profession in life. Some of us doctors, some writers, and some others construction workers. How did we become what we are today? We worked for it. We went to schools, colleges, took the specific training and kept on developing those skills on a daily basis to become what we are today.
Just like how we have cultivated those professional qualities we could also develop good spending habits as a personal quality to relieve us from debt and save money, if only we take it seriously and incorporate in our daily life. Most people think good spending habit is about specifics, like not eating outside, coupon purchasing or making your own coffee. The fact of the matter is if you develop certain general spending qualities then the nitty-gritty will take care of itself.
Imagine you develop a habit of walking everyday. Once you cultivate that quality, how you walk, where you walk, what you wear, all these details you will work out on your own. Instead, if you begin the process by focusing on what you should wear for walking, you might spend a month on it before you actually start walking. By the time you figure out the best shorts and t-shirts for you to wear, your local authorities might close the trail you planned to walk on.
When it comes to spending money it is not about the specifics, it is about the habits you develop. There are five qualities that make anyone a good spender or a smart spender. Once you develop these spending qualities, your children will naturally inherit money saving qualities from you as they observe and learn from you.
1, Spend way less than your Income: This is the first answer to anyone who asks how to save money. Tell yourself a hundred times, if you want. Tell yourself how much money you earn. Sow the seed deep in your brain, so that you always remember your income. Whenever you remember your income you must be aware that you can only spend way less than what you earn. Never spend more than what you earn. Not a penny more. Save money. This is the first quality anyone aspiring to enjoy the peace that good spending habit bestows must develop. It takes just two months of practice. Then you automatically save money. If you monthly income is 3000 dollars try to spend less than 2000.
Almost all over-spenders or compulsive spenders manage to spend beyond their income. Now that is a sure sign to debt and financial catastrophe.
2. Save at least 5% of your Income: Create a black hole bank account, a saving account, of course that pays interest, you will not think of or even bother to meddle with unless you need money for an emergency. Make sure you send at least 5% of your monthly income to that account automatically every month. Practically you must forget that account. Just tell yourself that your income is 5% less. Let the money add up. Once the savings reaches a good sum, move it to a higher interest CD account.
2. Use Credit Card Wisely: Credit card is an ugly tentacle of capitalism. Credit is like the wheels of a military tank; sure the wheels move the tank ahead but on the way destroy the path. Credit helps the economy roll. But unsavvy and emotional consumers go on a spending spree without thinking the consequences. Bottom line? If you are smart use it and pay off credit card debt every month in full. Otherwise do not use credit card. Save money.
3. Apply sense when watching ads: Ads, Ads and Ads. This is what we see everywhere. They are fun, creative, attractive and at times emotionally engaging. They are made that way for a purpose. We all know what the purpose is. Make us spend money. The solution? Watch every ad like watching an opponent political ad. If you are a democrat and you watch a republican ad, what will you do? You analyze it carefully. Develop the same habit with all commercial ads. Do not fall for catchy ads and end up over spending. Nobody knows how many people are in debt today because of catchy ads.
5. Avoid Instant Shopping: Except food, that too when you are hungry, never buy anything instantly. Do not spend instantly. Instant spending habit rarely helps debt relief or to save money. If you see something and your mind tells you to buy it, just wait. Keep looking. Procrastinate every purchase. If you delay you will have time to think it over. Ask yourself. Do I really need this item? If you are convinced of the need, you could buy it later. By avoiding instant shopping you get one step closer to saving money and debt relief.
Remember, according to dictionary.com, a habit is an acquired behavior pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary. So develop at least three of the above five qualities to make good spending a habit to save money.
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