This topic is a little out of my norm .. but it's something I've been thinking about a lot lately. Over the past few years, my husband and I have had a goal of building our 'forever' house. Now that our goal is coming closer to reality, I have some tips on how to save money for your financial goals. I heard once that "if you always spend less than you make, you'll always be rich." That stuck with me. I always come back to that when I'm making a decision related to money.
You can find many, many, many articles about saving money. You can cut things out of your budget or you can take on another job, but if you don't get a handle on the mental side of money it will be hard to reach your goals. So, these are my five tips on how to get your head in the money game.
ASK YOURSELF WHAT YOU WANT MORE
If any of my coworkers are reading this, I hope they're laughing right now. I am forever saying things like, "I really want to go to Starbucks. ... Do I want Starbucks more than I want a new house?" Unless I'm really, really tired, the answer is always no. And of course that example is a little exaggerated, but I honestly look at each purchase like that. Do I want to splurge on something that gives me a little satisfaction right now ... or do I want to put my money away for a future purchase that will make me happy for much longer?
REALIZE THAT THERE'S ALWAYS ANOTHER ONE
It's super easy to get carried away while you're shopping. I mean, you are shopping for that perfect sweater to wear with those perfect pants and ... you finally it. Guess what? That's not the only sweater you're ever going to love. Once you realize that you're always going to want something and, guess what, you can pretty much always find what you want ... it makes decision-making so much easier. I don't feel the urge to purchase that perfect sweater (or whatever it may be) just because I found it. I know that if I don't buy it, then I'll find another one down the line when I can afford it.
GO CHEAP OR GO HOME
Let's be honest, unless you cut back your spending, reaching your financial goals will either be impossible or take longer. Honestly, I have switched to either cheaper options of household items or made some products myself. You can make dishwashing detergent, laundry detergent, body wash, etc. There are a ton of diy home recipes out there. But, take it one step further. I took a long, hard look at all the items coming in and going out of our home. Anything disposable that you can switch to reusable will save you money. For us, that means no paper towels or paper napkins. I keep paper towels and paper napkins on hand for company but, other than that, we've been using reusable products for years. And I love not throwing my money in the trash can!
THRIFT OR BUY USED
This is probably a very obvious suggestion coming from, and this is kind of an extension from the previous suggestion. You can find so many things for cheap. Whether you belong to your county's garage sale Facebook group or you like to actually search for yard sale treasures on the weekend, you can find so many used things to buy. You could also start shopping at Goodwill or Salvation Army.
GET CREATIVE WITH GIFTS
I am so bad at buying presents. And by bad, I mean really, really good. I tend to go a little overboard with present-buying for our friends and family. I want the present to be perfect, along with the gift wrapping. I have some to the realization that .... it's the thought that counts. Yes, that's right, I don't need to buy the perfect present to tell someone I care. Again, there are many suggestions online for cute diy presents. Anything diy is so special, because it shows that you took your time and effort to tell someone you care. Even if I don't have the time to make something, I will scour a store for something within my teeny tiny budget. Because no matter what I buy, it's always the thought that counts.
I hope you find some of these tips are helpful, even if you don't have a specific financial goal in mind. It's always a good idea to save money for a rainy day.
I'd love to hear your tips for meeting your financial goals!
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