While it might seem counterintuitive I find that spending less money makes me much happier in several ways. And if you’re in need of some budget tightening to meet your goals for the upcoming year, I think after the initial system shock, you’ll find that spending less money can really make you much happier as well.
In your quest to spend less and save more here are some crucial tips to make the transition go smoothly.
Make it a Game
Are you competitive? I definitely am, especially when it comes to competing with myself.
While it’s initially hard to make the transition from spender to saver you can make it a bit easier by turning it into a game. Instead of looking at spending as a restrictive thing look at it as a way to broaden your creativity.
To get started think of a few things you need to cut back spending on and then make a plan of attack. For instance, if you’re addicted to a certain Starbucks coffee see if you can find a recipe for a much cheaper (and probably healthier) version you can make at home. If you find yourself shopping for clothes too much, thoroughly clean out your closet and create new outfits.
Whatever the habit you need to correct, find a fun solution to do it more cost effectively.
You can even go a step further by selecting an amount of money you wish to save each week and keeping close tabs on it every day.
There’s nothing like accountability when working toward a major life change. If you’re in a relationship get your significant other to help you stick to your goals. Celebrate your victories with each other and work as a team.
If you’re single find a friend, family member, or even someone in a financial forum to help you with your goals. (That last option might sound weird but I actually found one of my biggest accountability partners through a blog!)
The point is just find someone who you can truly lean on for support when you need it.
You should also be accountable to yourself. Keep your goals posted in inconspicuous places and when you slip up don’t go into denial. Just dust yourself up and pick back up where left off.
Watch Your Savings Grow
If you’re wanting to spend less money, chances are you’ve got an important financial goal you’re trying to work toward. Shift the focus to that.
Instead of looking at what you’re giving up look at what you’re gaining. Trust me, debt freedom and financial stability feel much better than daily take-out will ever taste.
While you’re making the tough budget cuts closely monitor your goals. If they are truly important to you they should keep you motivated.
Shift Your Focus
When it comes to spending less money, owning less stuff, and living an overall less consumeristic lifestyle you’ll find that your priorities shift a little. Acquiring meaningless stuff will no longer give you that high it used to. Instead you need to shift your focus to being with the people who matter the most and doing the things that are important.
Spend more time with your kids doing free activities (like playing outside, playing a board game, or watching a movie together.) Organize your house. Take up a new hobby that you’ve always wanted to try.
By shifting your focus off of accumulation and onto yourself and other people you’ll find much more fulfillment in your life.
Go One Day at a Time
Rome wasn’t built in a day and unfortunately you can’t overhaul your entire life in one day either. Cutting down your spending is going to take hard work and you’re bound to mess up a time or two. Just keep going.
It will take a few months of concerted effort before you fully develop the new habits you’re working on. Just take it one day at a time and know that in the long run the sacrifices you’re making now will benefit you greatly.
Do you have any tips to add?
Alexa Mason is a freelance writer and wanna be internet entrepreneur. She is also a newly single mom to two beautiful little girls. She chronicles her journey as a single mom trying to make it big at www.singlemomsincome.com.