What Is The Secret To Saving Money - Here I am about a year after I seriously set my mind to sorting out my financial mess and looking at a reasonable sum sitting in my savings account. “I did good”, “I’m doing good”, I am thinking to myself, maybe I have cracked the secret of saving money! Of course I don’t see myself as a guru or expert but something has fallen into place in my head and money is going into the right places now and I am getting ready for that day when I can pay off my debt in a big nice lump sum. Of course my methods wouldn’t work for everyone but I do believe there are some common traits that will lead almost anyone (of course there are always exceptions) to the right path.
So, What Is The Secret To Saving Money?
Of course the most obvious answer to the question is spend less than you earn, great, brilliant advice, why didn’t someone tell me earlier?
Of course we all know this already but often miserably fail. That last drink on Friday night, unexpected breakdown or meal out on Sunday lunch always seems to bust the excellently planned budget. The world always seems to be against us but genuinely I think that it is normally us against us and with the right frame of mind most issues can be turned around.
Not everyone has enough money coming in to save. Built up debt, high cost of living compared to living on low wages and such factors can mean that either more work is needed (often easier to recommend than it is to get) or genuine external help such as debt relief or drastic things such as moving home with the rents for a while.
But a lot of us do have the money yet we still choose not to save, that’s been me for a very long time and it’s debt brought on poverty that originally pushed me to pursue a frugal lifestyle.
My frugality took a while to fashion but I wasn’t earning a lot of cash and I had debt that had to be paid each month, even though I was rolling in the right direction I wasn’t making speedy progress.
The progress came when the debt threatened to get in the way of me moving away to Egypt and possibly interfering with my relationship. I was starting to earn a little more but that wasn’t the crux of the change. I realised there and then that I wasn’t committed to the cause.
The secret definitely is your attitude. When you focus all your resources to saving and clearing debt or building security then that is what drives you to get up 20 mins earlier to make home lunch, to only have 1 drink with the guys from work or to learn how to make your own gourmet bread and downgrade your car.
It’s like being on a diet, being aware of what you are doing. Even though you have a chocolate finger in the cupboard you learn that taking it will put on a little weight. If not committed you will break and eat it, in fact you’ll eat them all. You’ll say, well I slipped up now, I might as well slip up in style!
When you get your mindset right slip ups become far less common, they happen but are often less drastic too. When you do slip up you learn to stop before it grows into a monumental mistake and learn to move on to keep the cause on the tracks.
On a physical level it helps to get organised, arrange a budget with breathing room, take overtime or a 2nd job and it is almost essential to establish an emergency buffer / fund. I started with $1k and everything felt so much more comfortable after that. Some people track every penny with spreadsheets, some just make sure they are on budget by just not spending and others find their own way forward without much mathematics involved at all. The thing all successful savers have is that killer instinct to reach the goal be it security, money for a house deposit or ridding debt.
I really think that is it.
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