If you’re like me you’ve may have never organized a plan on how to best save your money. You carefully plan how to spend your money. Conserve energy, shopping sales, cutting corners, and clipping coupons.
These are all positive steps in the right direction, but with some careful planning and organized thought, we can make our dollar stretch even further.
First of all, pay yourself first. Bill yourself if you have to as a way to keep track. You can even have a portion of your check directly deposited into your savings account so you’ll never even miss it.
Put part of it into savings for shorter term goals and some into a retirement plan. Compare interest rates at different financial institutions to get the most bang for your saved buck.
The key to this working is Creating a BUDGET and STICKING to it. Easier Said than done. In my opinion this is the biggest hurdle.
Make it a realistic budget. If you’ve never done this before it will take some time. Pay close attention to where your money is going. Develop a spreadsheet or other method so you can visibly track where your money is going each month.
It’s easy to remember the big bills like the mortgage or the car payment, but it’s easy to lose track of the incidental spending you do. You’d probably be surprised how much you spend each month on entertainment, eating out, and spending money for the kids. Ouch! especially for the ones in college! OMG!!
This will help you find ways of saving a few dollars here and there, which can quickly add up to a significant savings each month. Once you’ve paid close attention to where your money is going, it will be easy to find where you need to make adjustments adjust your budget accordingly. This will help you find ways of saving a few dollars here and there, which can quickly add up to a significant savings each month.
With some commitment and a few lifestyle adjustments, it’s really quite simple to live within the parameters of a well-planned budget.
Look for fun, inexpensive ways to entertain your family. Try an old fashion things like going on a picnic or going to the beach. Outdoor activities not only promote family togetherness but the fresh air and exercise will benefit everyone.
This is hardly a new or comprehensive discussion on this topic, there are books, YouTube Videos, financial advisers, even your Uncle Guido, who probably have better advice on this topic than I do.
As I face the HOPEFUL reality of Retirement and the joy of budgetary life (well I already have the JOY). I say hopefully, because when you look at the spreadsheet and start projecting scenarios, it gets REAL.
Take your money seriously and it will seriously take care of you!