$aving Money When You Don’t Have Any$
By Sherry Hanes
I know what you are thinking right now! That this statement of ‘saving money when you don’t have any’ is ridiculous! How can anyone save money when they don’t have any?
Well? Here are a few suggestions to make your financial world a little better and how to make your goals a little more obtainable.First, let’s just say that you have a strained budget. As a matter of fact, because you have so little money, you could say that there isn’t enough to even consider a budget. You will come to know that, no matter how little you think you have, there are always ways to make the best of your dollar and ways to earn even more.
The first two things you will need are patience and practicality and neither of those will you cost any money at all. Next you will need a pencil and paper to write down a few of your most desired goals.
Next, you will write down EVERYTHING you spend money on daily, weekly, monthly and yearly. That will include, how many cups of coffee you buy a day, a week. How many burgers and fries you buy for the day, the week or whenever you purchase these things. And be advised that, life style changes require action without justification. Justifications sound like this … ‘Well, it’s only one coffee?’ or ‘I’ve been really good sticking to my plan, so just this once won’t hurt!’ The problem with gifting ones’ self, even occasionally, can render a feeling of ‘Oh! That feels good! Only to lead to a sense of guilt in the
aftermath. Then comes the adverse self - talk and blame. And what makes anyone feel good when they are down? Yes! That’s right! …. gifting…again. So! You see that one can set themselves up for the
vicious cycle, that will cause them to lose all sight of their long-term goals and create a greater sense of failure. The point is that you want to feel GOOD and so there can be no argument or justification for exceptions. If you have a special event to celebrate, then you plan for it in your budget, along with special times of the year.
So first write down on your paper what YOUR long-term goals are. Long-term could be, within six months or a year or maybe 10 years. It is up to you. Set reasonable goals. Any reasonable goal is far better that having no goal at all as opposed to just living day to day. For myself, my goal was to take my children on a summer holiday each year, as soon as they got out of school. And every year, I would save all year long and by the time school was out, we had enough money to go on our trip and then some. We stayed in some of the nicest places and did some of the most memorable things that made the saving all the more worth the while. But that was just one of my goals. What will be your goals?
Now for the budgeting part. If you have a menial job or none at all, you have all the normal bills that everyone else has, so what you really have to look at is, your spending. And that is where looking at
the DAILY spending reveals the unnecessary expenditures.
Once there was a woman that I knew personally and she always complained that she didn’t have enough money for anything. She really needed a vehicle and thought she could not afford one. She was looking at new vehicles. I suggested to her that she might want to consider a newer used vehicle and that she could redesign her budget to include a low monthly payment and insurance and maintenance cost, by looking at her expenditures. We worked together and we were able to find just over $500.00 of unnecessary costs that would afford her a vehicle. She would have to stop spending money on things of lesser importance and learn how to say ‘no’ to others who would often take advantage of her
generous soul. So, she started saying ‘no’, sorry, I just don’t have it’ to the grandchildren who wanted to have treats and gifts always. The cost was not much individually, but when added up over time, they
came to quite a bit. The other thing she done was, she stopped eating out most of the time. She started to cook at home and she would make enough for a few days so she would not be tempted to rush out to the restaurant because there was nothing in the fridge to eat. She stopped making unnecessary trips to the mall and the grocery store. She would prepare a list for the week and make one trip for her groceries. She stopped having coffee out and made coffee and tea at home for far less money.
Then she stopped buying the newspaper and started reading news online. She stopped going to the bingo and played free online bingo games instead. She would tell friends to stop by her home, instead of always rushing out the door to go to their house, as they always expected her to, so she saved on gas and wear and tear on her vehicle. She cut cable channels she did not need or want. She cut phone services she did not need, like the home phone line and dropped her cell phone plan to only what she needed. She cancelled her gym membership and started exercising at home. She stopped burning so many lights in her apartment and save on electricity. She stopped buying ‘pretty little things’ for herself and gifts for people all the time.
She would by cards at the dollar store instead of the expensive cards at the card boutique. She would collect coupons and airmiles when possible. She would put items on a credit card and get the cash back
for her purchases. Continued
This is only suggested if you are loyal to yourself to pay off your debt at the end of each statement or this could be a disaster waiting to happen and would be absolutely counter produtive for this budgeting
process. She pays off all her credit cards at the end of each month and she only uses one card now that gives her cash back anywhere she shops.
This is just an example of what you can accomplish, but you need incentive and the incentive should be YOU. You can’t just wish for things to get better financially. You have to take steps to make things better.
My friend started by adjusting one thing. She started with making coffee at home instead of going to the famous coffee shops. That made her feel good when she saw how much extra she had at the end of the
month. So instead of feeling like gifting herself for her achievement, she decided to tackle something else on her spending list…next was the restaurants and next was cable and after that was the phone and on and on it went…She now drives a Ferrari! No! Just kidding about the Ferrari. But she does have a nice, little vehicle, and she has enough money now to go on little trips to see her sister who lives 500 miles
away and they spend some wonderful quality times together. She has enough for Christmas and birthday cards and gifts for the whole family and she is saving for her next vehicle.
The woman I am speaking of is 66 years old and just recently learned how to be her own best financial advisor. If you start young enough, you will achieve much more for yourself. The future is yours, however you want it to look.
Plan your plan. Foresee what your patience and practicality will afford you and make yourself a success that other will surely want to emulate.
A few tips to follow:
1) Put any extra money is a separate account so that can’t access it easily.
2) Save a dollar a day in that separate account. The cost of a coffee, if you will.
3) Get rid of the overdraft account. What are you using it for anyway? Only Serious charges should ever be on this account, if ever. And if you are using it…you better have a little consult with yourself.
4) Pay off the largest balance on your credit card and then work on the rest until you don’t own anything. Only use one great dividend card. Don’t fall for gimmicks…they are meant for capitalizing for the
corporations who don’t care about you. ‘Come into my parlor said the spider to the fly.’
5) Shop generic. Name brands are not better than generic brands in most cases.
6) If you are employed, ask your manager for a raise and give all the good reasons why you deserve one based on your Merit. Managers will not give you a raise on their own cognition.
7) Curb going out as much. Going out to socialize is great but, it is also big business for business owners. The cost of something nice to wear to great make-up, hair, shoes, and then there are drinks to
purchase and maybe even babysitting.
You don’t need to pay anyone a dime for advice for you to save thousands over a period of time. The cost of your financial misery is only equal to your unnecessary expenditures.
A nickel saved is a nickel earned.