Even YOU Can Save Money While Living On A Shoestring Budget
Scrimp N’ Save Money With Something To Show For It
Believe it or not, you can save money while living on a limited financial budget.
Financial economists have proven that how much you save has little to do with how much you make!
It is time to put away the excuses.
Here’s a road map for finding money you didn’t even know you had.
Those Two Simple Words—Save Money
When you hear those two, simple words, do you feel a deep sense of guilt?
Of course you do—we all do.
That is because, like most Americans, you know that your savings, targeted for retirement, is insufficient.
That’s cause for distress, perhaps, but not nearly as remarkable as the discovery that how much you save now has very little to do with how rich you are, today.
In fact, middle and low earner preppers manage to save more than non-prepper earners.
Now this is remarkable when you think about it.
Those with less save more!
What is the secret to their savings success?
For those of you who scrimp and save endlessly and with so little to show for it, this is both annoying and embarrassing!
It also means you have no excuse for not being able to save money.
The bottom line here is this: You just have to save, regardless!
That means for every $10 you earn, you MUST sock away at least $1 in savings.
Does not sound to be too difficult, right? WRONG!
UNLESS you have an iron clad savings plan, you will not save a single red cent!
The trick to saving money is in the purpose and the plan!
In terms of purpose, what is your emergency plan?
Are You Ready To Start A Good Plan To Save Money?
You are ready but you feel at a loss as to how you will come up with that extra money.
You are already barely eking out a living on your rural homestead.
You can manage if you train yourself to think differently.
That is the first part of any good plan.
You have to think right.
If you don’t think right towards your money, you won’t be able to manage it.
Step #1: Rethink How You Think About Money
In order to save money, you must have a calm state of mind.
Before you can even begin, you have to say NO to all spending.
And, stop thinking that you actually need all the stuff you’re spending all of your hard-earned money on.
Just don’t spend.
That is simple enough!
Say NO to all of the excuses and reasons for why you feel you MUST spend.
Tell yourself, NO MORE EXCUSES, PERIOD!
The very next time you want to buy something, take the $50 or $100 out of your wallet, instead and stash it away somewhere.
Do you see the logic?
That’s why it is called saving.
You don’t end up with stuff; you end up with your hard-earned MONEY.
Another new way of thinking will be to think of frugality as your savior.
Become a confirmed cheapskate and do as your most frugal preppers do.
Pay special note to the fact that preppers fix the shower curtain instead of buying a new one.
Sit down with Depression-era relatives and ask about how they made ends meet despite desperate times.
You must to learn to economize.
The next step in rethinking is to become inspired.
Spend all of your spare time online and search out those frugal web sites such as RuralMoney.com.
Look at “rural money”, “how to make money in rural areas”, “rural money making ideas” and “money saving tips”.
You’ll find a ton of good information devoted to rural money, making money in rural areas and living on less on Ruralmoney.com.
Learn to turn shopping time into activity time.
Go for a bike ride, walk down memory lane, take the kids to the park; do anything and everything that you can to take your mind off shopping and spending.
Step #2: Time To Save Money!
There are a number of creative ways to live on less.
However, you don’t want to make your life miserable.
Here are some great ways to economize without missing quality of life.
- Don’t think too much about it—just do it! Direct deposit is now your best friend! Your money is whisked away into your IRA, 401(K) or money market account—and you don’t have to do a thing to make it happen. Just drop by your payroll department and/or your bank and fill out the forms. Do it today.
- Eat meatless some of the time and go veggie. Prepare just three meatless meals a week (without substituting pricey fish) and you could save $25 a week, which equals $100 a month, which equals $1,200 a year! Beans: You will learn to love them.
- Play the money game. Whenever you get a $5 bill, put it aside for later. Alternatively, do the same with ones, quarters or even all of your spare change. You’ll have a nest egg built up before you even miss a nickel.
- Never spend the extras. Save all of your income-tax refund, your holiday money from the folks, the $20.38 over payment check from the electric company and any other extras, and save every penny.
- Negotiate and haggle to save money. You will be impressed by who will drop their prices, fees and interest rates: airlines, hotels, credit card companies, and even auto/appliance/Real Estate salespeople. Before you even think about paying full price: Haggle a bit first. Never be willing to pay full price!
Re-evaluate your money before you spend.
That dinner out for the family will cost more than you spend on groceries in a week.
That fancy pair of shoes is worth half the cost of a commuter pass.
Learn what your money is worth to you, and you won’t be so quick to dispose of it.
Don’t overpay on your taxes.
Yes, you love to get a big refund from the IRS every spring.
The fact is, though, you’re effectively lending money to the government and interest-free.
Go through your tax return and see if you can hold out until Dec. 31 to maybe get a $150 refund.
That way you can use your money NOW should you need it for an emergency, and bank the refund when you get it later.
Decide to raise your insurance deductibles.
Reassess each of the deductibles for your various kinds of insurance.
If you can raise them at all, then your premiums will drop.
Bring your mortgage costs down.
Look at whether or not the rate is too high.
If it is, then look to refinancing, which will save money.
Now, let’s look at the private mortgage insurance Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) you’ve been paying because you didn’t have enough money to make a 20% down payment.
If the equity in your home is greater than 22%, make sure that it is cancelled—it’s the law.
The Homeowners Protection Act of 1998 does come with some exceptions though.
If your loan is considered “high risk”, if your property has additional liens, or if you were not current on your mortgage within the year prior to termination or cancellation, then you could be stuck with PMI until those issued are resolved.
Additionally, it does not cover FHA loans or VA loans, or loans with lender-paid mortgage insurance.
Finally, pay up on your mortgage.
If you can manage an extra $100 per month, you will save thousands in interest costs over the long haul.
Toss out those nasty, glossy catalogs.
The best-known form of spending temptation known to man or woman is the catalogs (Sears & Roebuck, J C Penney, Montgomery Ward, and etc. knew it).
Sure they are fun and look good, but are they worth the risk of spending?
Chuck them straight into the trash.
Refuse those unnecessary fees.
Like the $3.50 you pay just because the ATM is right there, right now as opposed to driving to your bank, where you don’t get charged at all every time you use your debit card.
Alternatively, how about the late fees for returning videos?
These really add up.
Don’t forget those fat charges banks hit you with when you write a check that, well, bounces.
It’s best to apply for your bank’s overdraft protection with a $500 maximum.
Clean it yourself.
I’ve discovered a very cool trick: When a clothing label says, “Dry Clean Only,” I wash it.
On the other hand, dab out that little mustard stain with an old-fashioned cleaning device cleverly known as a sponge.
Don’t pay for a pro.
If you can fix the neighbor’s garage door and she can paint the kitchen, go for it and save money.
Put your raise in the bank.
Put that tiny 3% to 5% boost in the paycheck in your direct deposit and live on your previous salary.
Just buy the basics for the pets.
Say no to pet pampering.
Does your dog need those t-bone snacks?
Does your cat need that rabbit-fur-lined toy?
Vow never again to pay full price.
The next time you must shop, go on the Internet.
Look for eBay, half.com and craigslist.org for excellent sources of “lightly used” goods—everything from books to jewelry to office furniture—even the entire first season of Star Trek on video.
When you are focused on being savings minded, you’re thinking about how money changes everything.
Before you know it, you have learned how to save money and have a substantial savings.
Author’s Info: Tonza Borden is a 20-year finance and digital marketing expert with a passion for coaching and training. She is also an advocate for people with disabilities and the working poor. Visit her website at RuralMoney.com for exclusive community resources and strategies for your financial future. Google+
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