Begin $aving Money Today
Much Ado About Money
How to $ave money and have fun on your way to saving the next $1,000 dollars
So you want to save $1000 this year? And yet you look at the bills, the budget and you have no idea where you will begin to save even the first dollar to that staggering $1000. Look no further. Do I have a surprise for you. And if you realize that you can save $1,000 without having to starve or beg, will you put yourself to the $1,000 challenge? No, it doesn't require you to send me any money or to give to a charity to get a tax break. It only requires you to do a few simple things in relationship to your spending and Voila! You will have your $1,000 dollar savings by January 2009. Of course the more creative you become the more you will save. Who says it has be $1,000. It can be $2,000 if you choose. Let's delay no further and get to the heart of the matter.
Have you noticed how easy it is to spend the little cash that you do have only to find that there is no cash for the necessities when they do arise? This is the dilemma that many people face when trying to balance life, work, play and budgeting. How much spending is too much spending? And just how much do you sacrifice in an effort to save before you are discouraged because you are losing out on many of the creature comforts you have become accustomed to? Keep in mind the few people who are able to save a large amount of money don't make thousands of dollars more than you, they don't give up all of their creature comforts either, they've just trained themselves to find a way to save on the things they love. Let's examine where your money is going, how to find alternatives for your spending dollar and find ways to choose more wisely how you will spend it so that by year's end you will have a lucrative savings account.. After all that's why I'm writing this and you are taking the time to read this.
You wouldn't believe me if I told you that we are wasteful consumer's would you? Wasteful with our money that is. You see, the truth is the money you spend for a 32 ounce soda here and a hamburger there, well it all adds up to dollars and cents and that collective spending over a year's time adds up to hundreds of dollars. You probably also weren't aware that consumer's most excessive spending isn't on the rent either, it's centered around fun, entertainment and wasteful spending. Boredom and discontentment combined can also be costly. So let's find ways to save you money now and also keep in mind that you might identify your own money pits along the way. Don't ignore these opportunities to identify them, it's the difference between paying yourself or paying someone else. Of course when you must spend or feel a need to spend, find alternate ways to save money. My examples are personal ones yours may differ but using this as a template, you can find your own ways of spending alternatives.
When I was younger my grandmother was known for coupon clipping. Sunday afternoons she would clip up the paper and come Monday through Friday she used those coupons to purchase foods that were needed for the household. She saved money doing it and believe it or not she had fun seeing the savings she raked in at the bottom of the receipt. Didn't make much sense to me then but looking back it makes a lot of sense now. Of course no one wants to clip coupons. But for all it's worth clipping coupons is one very important way to $ave! Try it once this week. Get Sunday's paper, clip only the coupons that you need and then use them when necessary. Coupons are normally dated with a 30 - 60 day expiration.
Another important way to save is using coupons at your favorite fast food restaurant. Fast-food affliction and cravings hit everyone, but did you know that on average Americans eat out at least twice a week or more? This habit though fulfilling at the moment translates to an expensive one. Let's assume that the average person eats fast-food twice a week. That's $12 for one person. Now let's assume that each time you go to get that fast burger, you're not eating alone but with your significant other. That's a whopping $24 or more per week on fast-food. That's a big chunk of money gone from your wallet forever. If continued that would translate to $1,152 per year! Woe! or (what on earth!?) If we reduce that spending to eating out only once per week it would clearly save $576 annually. If this is you, your already half way to saving that $1,000 we were speaking of earlier! Imagine that. Of course if you can't resist eating out twice a week then may I suggest that you use coupon clipping as a means to save that $576 annually. For example by clipping buy one get one free coupons out of the paper you would be paying yourself in savings each time you eat fast-food.. Or you can get in the habit of going to dollar friendly restaurants that include a dollar menu.
If you are a moviegoer, this is another way to cut back on money. At $8 a ticket (and who goes alone) that's $16 per movie and another $20 on popcorn and soda and candy. $36 for two hours of entertainment? Now of course this is a real avenue of savings for my fiancé and I. We purchased a big screen televison and we rent our DVDS. Sure we have to wait a few months for those blockbusters to be released on DVD, but look at the savings. We used to spend $72 a month going to movies. Now we spend only $10 watching them from the comfort of our home, soda, popcorn, candy and reclining chairs. We save $62 a month this way. An annual savings of $744! Already we've saved over the $1,000 dollars I've mentioned.
Finding ways to cut your budget in half is as simple as finding ways that you can substitute what you want without having to sacrifice what you want. You still get the movie, the popcorn, the soda, you're just paying you the savings and that makes a whole lot of cents doesn't it? This investment is not only one that will pay you huge dividends, but also make you feel good about your wallet. The whole purpose in life is to enjoy it and what better way than to start paying yourself back in tangible monetary savings.