It’s the start of a brand new year, and with the holiday season safely over, I’ve started to focus my thinking on another area – saving money. The holidays are an expensive time of year, and at no time do I feel that more acutely than after my January credit card statement arrives. Yikes!
As I sit here eating my boiled eggs and diced pepper, I’m trying to settle on just a few of the “tricks” that I use to save myself money each month. I could drink less, possibly… but where’s the fun in that? I could give up climbing… perhaps stop “investing” so much in Kickstarter projects, but nah… forget it.
Saving for an Awesome Life
No, there’s a much better way, and it goes a little something like this…
- Start paying yourself first, long before you spend a dime on anything else. What I mean by that is this: set up a high yield savings account (if you haven’t already) and set up the account to automatically take a certain amount from your paycheck on the 1st of the month. Most online banking systems can do this with ease, and with the money being moved into a savings account automatically, it will be like you never had the option to spend it anyway.
- Remember how I mentioning drinking less? Well, it’s true… booze and eating out (at restaurants 😉 ) is usually quite expensive, so do yourself a favor and a) start pre-drinking at home before you hit the bar, and b) cook at home more often. I know you hate cooking, but you know what? Get over it. Cooking is an extremely useful skill, and women will think you’re more awesome to boot.
- Don’t own a car if you can avoid it. Scott touched on this before, and this is so important that I wanted to mention it again. Cars are an absolute money pit, and I promise you they’ll cost you at every turn, so to speak.
- Shop around for your banking institution. There are a lot of banks out there, and you can learn a lot more interest if you just take the time to compare savings accounts and find the best offer in your neck of the woods. Don’t ask your friends (they’re probably oblivious to banking rates), but instead start browsing around online. Forums are a good place to find information on banks from the perspective of other customers.
- If you have so much junk that you need to rent a storage locker, and you never use said junk… sell it for money, and close out the storage locker. Where I live a storage locker costs about $100/month, and that’s money that you could be storing away in your bank account.
Don’t be a Sucker, Learn to save Before it’s too Late
As a relatively young person I can confidently say that our generation absolutely sucks at saving money. I don’t know why people care so little about saving these days, and it really doesn’t matter… the point is that you buck the trend and start shoveling money away like a conductor shovels coal into the furnace of his train, uh… except not into fire, and instead into a bank account. No, not for retirement… you’re probably never going to retire anyway, but instead to experience all the wonderful things that life has to offer. How will you be able to afford that “massage therapy retreat” in Thailand if you haven’t been saving money?
If you lovely readers have any suggestions of your own, please feel free to share them in the comments below. Believe it or not, I do read – and even reply – to every comment I receive, even the annoying ones.
[Photo by Tax Credits and Thomas Wanhoff]