This year I’ve been doing a series of resource posts on some of the most widely covered topics. So far we’ve covered how to make a personal budget and ways to cut your debt. This week we are focusing on some great ways to save money.
I still remember the day it dawned on me that by actually thinking about and monitoring where my money was going, I could actually have a lot more of it. As a person who spent many years not paying attention to where my money was going, it was quite an eye-opening experience.
I remember seeing my credit card bills and wondering to myself how going out to eat a few times and a knick-knack here or there could add up to hundreds of dollars. I would often recalculate the totals because I was sure that the credit card company had made a mistake. Yet I never found a calculation error on their end – it turned out it was just foolish overspending on mine!
Begining to try to save money
I then started with the easy ways to save money by trying to cut back on going out to eat, say no to unnecessary purchases, and invest some time shopping for a better deal. To my surprise, the small amount of energy that I put into saving money yielded hundreds of dollars of savings – rather than just a few bucks that I previously assumed.
To clarify, I just thought all the money-saving techniques, like buying used, cutting or printing manufacturers coupons, and cooking food at home would only yield a small amount of savings – so I never tried them. Since I was good at spending more money than I had, I was able to save a lot of money just by making a few small adjustments.
Americans love new cars and eating out
I remember interviewing a very wealthy mentor of mine and he said that many Americans trade retirement savings for being able to drive a new car and go out to eat. He explained that just by making the sacrifice of not always driving a new car and eating at home, it is so much easier to get ahead and build wealth. (Related Article: How your car affects your financial freedom)
Over the years I can say that I can’t agree more – particularly when it comes to cars. The average American spends way too much money on car-related expenses. From paying for the car itself, interest charges, insurance, maintenance and repairs, and taxes some people end up spending over 30% of their income for car-related expenses. All for something that quickly depreciates and typically sells for a fraction of what you pay for it new.
I still love eating out, but my wife and I have chosen to make it more of a celebratory event – rather than a daily occurrence. To save money when we do eat out, we often use our Entertainment Book cut our our bill by just about half.
So anyway, while cars and food are two great places to start saving money, there are countless other ways to save some bucks…
More articles to help you save money
These are some of the articles written over the last few years that will help you save money in a variety of ways. And if this isn’t enough, you can always scan all the articles in the save money category.
If you need more inspiration to help you save money, these are some books you could check out…
Books to help you save money