The One Thing You Need to do to Become a Better Saver

Spread the Money

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. PLEASE READ MY DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

 

Unless you already are a multi billionaire, I believe the most important habit to have in order to build wealth is to be a saver.  Which is why some of my friends like to call me’Cheap’ or ‘Frugal’ but I like to refer to myself as being ‘Economically Sensitive’ 😉

 

There is nothing wrong with being economically sensitive as long as it does not impact anyone else. An example of this is going out to dinner with friends and throwing in $5 dollars including tip when the bill comes after you’ve ordered 4 adult alcoholic beverages and the filet mignon with truffle fries.

I’ve known people to do this and it’s super irritating and inconsiderate. And contrary to popular belief, I have never pulled this stunt at dinner with friends. I would have the decency to contribute at least $10 bucks for this meal…JK.

So how does someone save more money fast? Well, it’s really a balancing act. Before people pay their bills at the end of the month, most people want to splurge on something ridiculous because they think they deserve it. This usually leads to credit card debt which I will cover in a later post but you need to get that mentality out of your head which is that you should buy everything you think you deserve or want. If I bought everything I wanted, I would be living out on the street inside a cardboard box (which is my biggest fear btw.)  So yes, there is some discipline involved here.

Once upon a time and a long long time ago, I was 13 years old and there was nothing I wanted more  than getting a Sega CD gaming console. For those of you old timers like me, the Sega CD was the hottest thing to own if you were a kid growing up in the 90’s and it was about $325 bucks!  That was alot of money back then, especially for a 13 year old. I wanted all the kids in my neighborhood to be jealous of me. But there was no way in hell my parents would shell out that kind of money.

So what did I do? I saved my own money for it. And how did I do it? By writing down every single penny I earned and spent in a journal. I don’t remember how I came up with the idea, but it worked.  I saved all my birthday and Christmas monies and wrote every single dollar amount in my journal. If I spent even .50 cents on something, I would write it down. If my older sister came around asking to borrow money from me (yes she did that often), I would write that down too.

I was so determined to get that Sega CD. After about a year of writing down every single penny that came in and out I finally saved the $325 to buy the Sega CD. Yes, I still wanted it after all that time had passed. The last entry I had written in my journal was ‘Total Saved = $325.00, Total Withdrawn = $325.00 for Sega CD!!’

 

For those of you struggling to save money or just don’t know where to start, I believe journaling is the best way to start saving for beginners. Similar to keeping a food journal for people wanting to lose weight, start keeping a journal for tracking every single dollar you spend and receive. Now that everyone has a smart phone, just open a notepad or spreadsheet app and start recording every single item you spend and earn.

I challenge you to do this for at least a week. You will be surprised at how much money goes out the window on things most people don’t even think about like their fancy tasty lattes.  You will see how quickly these items add up, especially if you monitor your spending for at least a month. It will hopefully make you reevaluate how to spend your money, especially if you are saving for a goal like I did.

This looked like the financial journal I kept

 

Believe it or not, I still keep a journal for everything I spend on and earn, except now that journal is in my head. A useful app that I discovered and have been using for years is called Personal Capital . It keeps track of all the activity, including credit card charges that goes on in all your financial accounts and displays them in a way that is easy for everyone to comprehend. Just like a journal, Personal Capital will give you a glance of all that you spend on using colorful charts and graphs.

But if you are too lazy or just don’t trust entering all your financial information at , then carrying around an old fashioned journal like I did when I was 13 will do.  Now start writing every single dollar amount down and start saving for your own version of the Sega CD!

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