Track Your Spending
Where did you spend most of your money this week? Have you paid all of your monthly dues? Or did you just shell out a hundred bucks for a dress you’re not going to wear anytime soon? Making a weekly list of your expenses will help you analyze any spending problems that you may have, prompting you to cut back on any unnecessary purchases.
Live Within or Below Your Means
Just because you earn big bucks does not mean that you need to show it off. If you read Thomas Stanley’s book, "The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy," you’ll realize that many wealthy Americans opt to live below their means so that they’ll be able to save up, retire early, and enjoy a comfortable life. If they can do it, so can you with a little planning.
Commit to Saving Up
It’s easy to spend your paycheck in just one sitting. After all, you deserve to be pampered because of all your hard work, right? Rethink this habit and believe you can have better than what you can buy right now. Commit to a regular savings plan and make sure that you stick with it no matter what happens. Remember that it’s fine to give yourself a little treat once in a while, but not daily or even weekly. You’ll be happy you’ve got more than enough money come retirement.
Avoid Unnecessary Debt
Having debt means that you are spending more than what you earn, which simply translates to living above your means. Unless it is a matter of life and death, avoid incurring any kind of consumer debt unless you are trying to build credit for larger purchases, like a home, and can pay off your card bill each month. Once you retire, you’ll be thankful that you did not spend too much of your money paying sky-high interest rates for things that you only enjoyed momentarily.
Control Your Spending Urges
It can be quite a challenge to try not to splurge on something that you badly want, but try to use the 15-minute buffer to control your urges. Instead of acting on your impractical impulse right away, do something else for about 15 minutes to get your mind off your craving. Afterwards, evaluate your feelings. Does your initial desire still feel as urgent as it was before? Perhaps not anymore.
Prioritize Your Health
If you want to have a comfortable retirement, you should take care of your health while you are still young and strong. The connection between health and money may appear flimsy at first, but wait until you end up all using all your retirement funds for a hip replacement surgery to realize why people claim that health is wealth. Spend your money on food that won’t come back to haunt you 30 to 40 years from now.
Always Go for Quality
People often let an item’s price tag become the deciding factor to know if they should buy it or not. But real money savers know that the frugal choice is not always the right choice. You need to know when to spend more. In fact, you’ll save more money in the long run if you buy expensive, high-quality leather boots instead of a cheap pair made from faux materials. Look at the bigger picture to see which item is the better choice.
Diversify Your Investments
Saving money in the bank for retirement purposes is not enough. The inflation rate will eventually decrease the value of your money in the future. That’s why it is important not only to save, but also to invest in different investment vehicles, such as stocks, bonds, real estate, and mutual funds. Come retirement, your money will be worth more than what you initially invested.