How To Save Money… The Real Way

(credit: Andrés Nieto Porras via Flickr)

(credit: Andrés Nieto Porras via Flickr)

I was out on Yahoo the other day and came across an article offering me seven ways to save money. Since I like saving money, I gave it a quick read.

To me, the suggestions… left something to be desired.

The article suggested I wear very high heels when I go shopping — to tire me out quicker — and/or drink four or five glasses of water and then not go to the toilet before going shopping.

I think the idea was that if my bladder is full, I’d shop less.

There were five more similar suggestions to how I might save money. Now these ideas may be brilliant, and you may want to try them, but I think I’ll probably pass.

Maybe a better way to save money… is not to go shopping at all!

Since whenever I cite a problem, I like to offer my own solution, here are some ideas I’ve come up with to save money. because when you consciously save money, you’re moving towards abundance in your life.

1. Contribute the maximum amount you can to a 401K plan at your job; if your job doesn’t provide a 401K plan, open an IRA.

2. Make a budget — know how much money you earn (after contributing to the 401K or IRA) and know what your expenses are for whatever time period you budget for — week or month works best. Write down everything — including insurances, maintenance expenses, gas.

3. If your expenses exceed your income — cut back on your expenses or increase your income. I know that sounds too easy and very simplistic — but it is what it is. Evaluate each and every thing you spend money, and see if you could be doing something different.

4. Eat at home as often as possible; take your lunch to work.

5. Plan menus for your meals — then make a list of what you need to buy to create those meals.

6. When you go shopping only buy what’s on your list.

7. Eat as close to natural as possible. Shop for produce at local farmers’ markets — not the expensive posh farmers markets, but local stalls. If you don’t know where one is, ask around.

8. Stay away from highly marketed unnecessary trifles — like expensive coffee, or anything that hints of designer. The word designer means somebody else is getting richer, while I’m getting poorer.

9. Be sensible about gifts and cards and mailing/posting expenses. Set a budget for holidays and birthdays and any other event that requires an outlay of money. Instead of buying a present, make something, or spend time with someone, or share something of yours that you love with a person you love. Put boundaries on your gift giving.

10. Never waste anything — food, water, electricity, time, money.

11. Manage entertainment costs. Use a video streaming service instead of cable or better yet, turn off your TVs, and read, draw, paint, sew, cook, exercise, swim, garden, or just talk with your friends and family.

12. Get a part time job — something fun that can bring in some extra income.

13. Have a yard sale. Make it a family venture — then save all the money you make.

14. Never shop for entertainment — just the thought gives me a cold chill. If you’re bored, take a walk. Not only is a walk good for your pocketbook, it’s also good for your health.

15. Monitor your savings. Never touch it, just watch it grow.

I’ll talk more about these ideas and add others in later blog entries.

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About Liz Stauffer

Liz Morningstar Stauffer’s improbable journey—from a divorced mother of two at the age of 34 to a millionaire some 15 years later—has inspired her to create the blog “The Improbable Millionaire," offering tips, advice, stories and support for people on a similar journey—even if they don’t know it yet!

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