Become A Saver Instead Of A Spender: 7 Simple Steps To A Money-Managing Mindset
You know you want to save. You think about. Talk about it. Read about it. But yet, here comes the end of the month and, as usual, you’ve spent much more than you’ve saved. Good intentions are admirable, but let’s face it — they’re not bankable.
Here are seven tips that can help change your mindset from being a spender to becoming a saver.
1. Stop Impulse Buying
When it comes to eating, sometimes your eyes are bigger than your stomach; when it comes to shopping your eyes can be bigger than your budget. Attach a sticky note to your debit card asking yourself if what you’re about to buy is necessary. If internet shopping is your downfall, remove your credit card info from online accounts or block your favorite retail websites. Want to go a step further? Install Icebox, a free Google Chrome extension that removes the “add to cart” option on retail sites and replaces it with a “put it on ice” button. Cool.
2. Enjoy Downtime Without Spending Money
Downtime doesn’t have to mean upping your spending. Skip the expensive lunch and meet up with friends for a leisurely walk in the park or at the beach, share a potluck dinner, or get together for game night. Check out DVDs from the library instead of heading to the movies.
3. If You Have A Two-Income Household, Try Living Off One Income While Saving The Other
It’s surprising how much you can do without when you limit the amount of money at your disposal. By choosing to save and not spend both of your incomes, you could accumulate enough money to pay off a car, purchase a second car, pay off your mortgage sooner, or cut down on student debt.
4. Manually Track Your Spending
Using a spread sheet can provide you with a close-up look at where you’re spreading your money on a weekly, monthly, or annual basis. You can also track seasonal expenses, such as holiday spending so that you can prepare in advance for those times of the year when spending waxes and wanes.
5. Commit To A No-Spend Challenge
You might want to spend a little time practicing this one: Saying “no” to all spending outside of essentials may not come easy. But over time, you’ll start to see your savings — and the effectiveness of the challenge — grow.
6. Save Your Change
Will this strategy make a dime’s worth of difference? Absolutely. When you buy something, set the spare change aside to deposit into your savings account. Spare change adds up slowly but surely, and the best part is you won’t even miss it. When it’s time to add up your collected change, check to see if the coin-counting machine at your local bank or supermarket is fee-free.
7. Switch To A Cash System
When you hand out cash for your spending transactions instead of whipping out the debit or credit card, it’s easy to see how much money is being spent. You can also put cash in specific budget envelopes for each of your spending categories; once the money in the envelope is used up, that’s it for the month.