How To Spend Wisely On Life’s Essentials
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Have a hard time trying to save money on everyday essentials? Here are tips to become a savvier spender!
You can save money on necessities if you simply know how to do it. In today's economy more people understand the need to save money and spend wisely.
It has almost become a way of life for many Australians, and the need to save and put money away has become stronger than ever.
There are two ways you can go about saving money.
One of them is making more income and putting away the extra in savings, and the other is spending less and saving the difference.
How then does one come to grips with the need to save money accompanied with the need to spend money on essentials?
Obviously there has to be some type of budget implemented to meet both of these needs. A compromise must be met between spending and saving.
Save Money on Life's Essentials
There are simply some things that you cannot do without and you need to spend money on.
This does not mean that this spending should be taken lightly since good planning will help you save money on these everyday essentials.
If you follow the suggestions listed below you will find that your spending on essentials will decrease dramatically, and you can put the money you save into a savings account to build up a nice nest egg.
Create a Budget
This is the first thing needs to get done. If you don't know how much money is available for essentials you may end up buying too much without even knowing it.
A lot of people wonder why they come to the end of the month with no money left over, and this is one of the reasons.
Making a sound financial budget is your first step towards saving money.
You need to get these everyday essentials, but if you spend your money wisely you will save a lot on them.
One thing you can do is purchase many food items in bulk. Depending on the packaging, some food items can last for years.
You can look for the expiration date on the packaging and make bulk purchases that you can put away for the future.
Little things like looking for coupons and bargain sales will also go a long way in helping you save money on everyday essentials.
When you start saving money on the essentials, take the cash and a deposit it immediately into a savings account so it does not get spent on other things.
This way you will see your savings add up, and it will be very real to you that the effort you are taking to save money is actually making an effect.
Plan Your Shopping Trips
If you head out to shop for a couple of hours at the local mall with your credit card you are just asking for trouble.
Impulse buying will lead you away from your budget and you'll only regret it later.
Only go shopping when you need to get something and use self-discipline to keep yourself from browsing around the shops.
Watch Your Credit Cards
If you have a credit card that you use all the time to make purchases and have accumulated some debt, you need to start paying it off and stop using the card.
A credit card is great if you have an emergency, but it can also become a problem if it is used more than it should be.
The best thing you can do is get a no annual fee credit card and have it hidden away for a time of crisis only.
If you are not using the card to make any purchases on a regular basis, and you don't have to pay an annual fee, then this card will cost you nothing to own, and you will have nothing to lose.
You can save money on your everyday essentials easily by following the suggestions listed above.
Once you start using them every day, spending wisely will just become part of your daily routine and you won't even think about it twice.
This guest post was written by Timothy Ng who is a personal finance writer for Credit Card Finder.
I find shopping at the mall or outlets with my friends difficult because I know I’m not going to find something and I hate to tempt myself by passing stuff I “want” to buy. Plus if you make a day of shopping you’re more likely to eat out and buy snacks. It’s a pretty expensive trip even when I don’t buy anything.
@Kevin: I feel that way sometimes when hanging with friends who are shopping. I sometimes leave my credit card at home to avoid being tempted to use it.
I’m not sure when shopping became entertainment but if you try to view it as a necessary evil that might help! I shop every Saturday morning, groceries, gas and straight home. About once a month there is some other errand to do – get a hair cut, repair parts from hardware store, replace worn clothing or broken household item. Wandering in stores aimlessly leads to spending. Even with the best intentions, if you constantly put yourself in that situation your eventually going to cave in a buy something you didn’t know about and didn’t “need” until that moment. I used to shop occasionally with no particular goal. No more. Now I don’t go into a store without a list and a specific purpose. When I grocery shop I review the sales flyers in advance and plan the meals for the week around the deals (and what’s already on hand). It’s amazing how little you really NEED to spend.
Perhaps instead of shopping with friends for entertainment, you could meet your friends at a park for a picnic, or go for a hike with a packed lunch. Invite them over for a movie night or sit out on the balcony or patio. Either move the party around to everyone’s place to keep the costs even, or if you’re the only one with space, host regularly but make it a pot luck. Keep in mind the goal is to see your friends. When I stopped shopping with friends I discovered they quickly fell into two categories. The larger group are those I still see regularly and whose company I genuinely enjoy. There are also a few who I rarely see now. Apparently encouraging each other to spend money (“oh get it, you only live once”) was all we had in common. I wasn’t expecting that to be an outcome of my new frugal ways but I guess it was good to find out that it was a single focus friendship.
I was reading an public policy peer reviewed article that backs this post up the other day. Essentially they were looking into whether credit counselling worked. They found 4 factors associated with low financial stress
1. Make plans on how to use your money
2. write down how money was spent
3.evaluate spending on a regular basis
4.use a written budget.