For some folks, coming up with a budget is hard enough. But assuming you are following some kind of personal budget guidelines, you may still be unhappy with your results at the end of the month. So today, I want to give you some further budget tips and ideas to save more money, and look to the future.
Reprogramming Your Brain
In today’s world, we see thousands and thousands of advertisements every week. We are constantly pressured to spend what little money we have, on things we do not need. There are only two ways to handle this kind of pressure. One is to ignore it (which is much easier said than done) or to eliminate it. I recommend eliminating it. How? By aiming at the source of most of the advertisements we see. TV! We are living in a society that is absolutely drowned by the television. The best thing to do is just to turn off the television. I mean completely. My wife I do not even have cable TV. We only have a couple of Christian movies and some exercise videos. So if you were to eliminate your cable, you would immediately be saving $30-$200 per month. But beyond the immediate savings, you are not going to hear about the newest gadget, the latest best selling widget, or the latest Ford mustang (I hate the new mustangs, especially because they are made by Ford). And if you aren’t hearing about these things, you will not have the desire to buy them. Don’t think it will work? Try it for a month and leave your comments below. I challenge you.
Thinking Twice Before Acting on Impulse
Impulse buying will absolutely destroy your budget. And usually it isn’t the high dollar item that you impulsively buy, it is the $7 lunch at a fast food restaurant that you eat everyday, and indulging to go out for ice cream, or for guys, going out a buying another $5 fishing lure you will never use. And so on. You must break the habit. The best way to do this is to track these items on your budget for a whole month, and come up with a total number of frivolous buying for that month. You will be shocked and amazed at how much money you wasted. From there, just think about that insanely high number you spent when you think about stopping at McDonald’s for an ice cream.
Commit to do a Little Research
On items that we do actually need, like mortgages, home insurance, vehicles, groceries, communications, etc. make a commitment to look for at least three different offers from competing companies before purchasing. Do a little haggling with each one. What do I mean? Just tell one of them about the better offer you had from their competitor. Many business will honor discounts that are advertised by their competitors. I know it takes a little time to do this, but not really that much time, and the benefits far exceed the extra couple of days to make a decision. Also, having to wait to get pricing from competitors will help you to stop acting on impulse, and act on strong financial planning.
All of these ideas, in a nutshell have to do with a retooling and retraining of your mind, and how you look at life. Don’t be led around by the commercials, and let the peer pressure force you to buying things you don’t need, that are ridiculously priced. Spend a few extra minutes in the morning to make lunch, instead of going out. Scale your house down. Buy cash cars. Buy clothes you intend to wear for years, not for seasons. And find cheap or no cost ways to have entertainment, like going for a walk in a public park, swimming in a public pool, playing basketball in a public area, doing puzzles, playing cards or dominoes, and many, many other ideas to keep the bills down.
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