Tuesday, December 16, 2014

10 Ways to Have More Money at the End of the Month

by M. J. Joachim

With Christmas right around the corner, I thought this article might be helpful for a lot of us.

It's that time of the month again! You know the one, beginning, middle, or end, when money seems to be just a little bit less, and you still have to pay for so many things. We've all been there at one time or another. Too many times, we've wished for a few simple ideas that would make getting into the habit of saving just a bit more fun, or at least not so difficult.

Using the resources of experts and ordinary people, you now have access to some very easy money saving tips that can readily turn into good habits. Feel free to try as many of them as you like. Then watch those pennies multiply, giving you less stress, and more financial freedom.

1. Make lists of your necessities and wants. Your entire family could participate in this activity, allowing younger members to learn about saving before they end up paying bills. The trick is to be honest, and not complain about giving up things that no one really needs.

2. Create opportunities and incentives to save. Place change jars strategically around your home. Mark them with a line, and when the change reaches it, give your family a well deserved reward. Have a larger jar available to combine change from the little jars as they reach their mark. The money collected in this jar goes straight to your savings account.

3. Shop wisely. Check prices against amounts in containers. Too often you will save more by buying several smaller packages, as opposed to a larger one. Use coupons, and don't waste gas travelling across town to save a few pennies on a single loaf of bread. Instead, head to the bank and deposit the money you saved in your savings account.

4. Spend within your budget. If you don't have the money, don't spend it. Put away the credit cards. Read a book instead of renting a movie. Prepare a home cooked meal instead of eating out. It is far too easy to get into debt, and next to impossible to get out of it.

5. Divide your money into categories. Give each category a monthly allowance. Once it's spent, there is no more. Anything left over at the end of the month gets deposited into your savings account, or helps pay other bills.

6. Pay off your bills. Don't just make payments every month. Make a point to work at paying them off. Keep track of your success, and make adjustments when necessary. As each bill gets paid off, put the money you save into your savings account or toward another bill that needs to get paid off.

7. Set reasonable goals for yourself. If you know it's going to take 6 months to pay off your Visa card, don't try to do it in 3. This will only lead to frustration, and probably more spending. Of course, if you come into some extra cash that enables you to pay it off in 3 months, don't hesitate to do so.

8. Practice using less and saving the money. This might sound obvious, but it is a little harder than you might think. Saving money is exciting; a lot of people take their savings and immediately spend it on something else out of sheer joy. It is important to practice putting that money away. Avoid spending it at all costs, until saving it becomes second nature through practice.

9. Play money saving games. Turn saving money into a fun activity. Give each family member a piggy bank, and compete to see who fills theirs first. Get into the routine of playing "Put It Back" with your kids at the store. Practice math skills when making purchases, determining the best value for your money. These ideas will save you money, while teaching your children better spending habits.

10. Know your numbers. Request your credit report. Keep track of your taxes. Understand you bank and mortgage statements. Question things that don't make sense, and be responsible for where your money ends up. If you are paying too much interest on something, do the research to get a better deal. Take responsibility for the money you pay, and put aside your savings.

Spending money is easy. That's why so many of us think it is difficult to save. Yet, if we put as much effort into saving our hard earned dollars, as we do into spending them, it wouldn't be difficult at all. With a little practice and perseverance, we would all have a little more cash at the end of the month.

If you have some easy and fun money saving tips, please share them in the comments and join the discussion. It’s all in the name of being effectively human and helping each other live the best lives possible, after all.

Thanks so much for visiting, commenting and sharing my post today.

M. J.

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