Easy Does It: Why saving money doesn't have to be a struggle

Posted By: Matt in Frugality on 07/30/2016 at 08:22:58

The perception among most is that saving money is hard, when in actuality the complete opposite can be true.

Sure, you'll have months when the roof blows off or your car quits on you, and finances tend to tighten a bit at that point, but if you've saved and paid attention to budgeting your money, those aforementioned expenses can be covered with little fret on your part.

For the most part, saving money is a balancing act that some navigate like a tight rope over the Grand Canyon. They know exactly how to save and what they're spending, and won't deviate from the plan. When something unexpected arises, they're prepared with their savings account waiting in the wings.

Viewing money as a struggle just means your perception is off, and that you're not in tune with your spending habits or being able to find subtle, less obvious ways to save.

Energy costs are a prime example of how some people know that only a few degrees up or down on their thermostat can save you hundreds each year or that buying an energy efficient appliance might cost more up front but can save you thousands based on the amount of electricity they pull.

That same group that is thermostat conscious also will tell you that they have been able to save by cutting back on take out or eating out at restaurants. If you're spending $200 to $300 per week on your grocery bills and another $200 on restaurant dining, something has to give. That grocery bill should be a gateway to packing lunches or eating and cooking dinner at home, not having the food sit and potentially be wasted while you're hitting the drive thru or forgoing pots and pans and clean up for a faster, more convenience yet expensive means to have dinner.

And on that same vein, don't make grocery shopping a stock up trip, particularly on food that you're not going to get to for years or could spoil. Having hundreds of dollars sitting in your pantry or cupboards is dead money, like a business that has too much money sewn up in inventory.

Instead, run a tight ship in the kitchen and at home. Buy what you need and plan your meals accordingly so you're not over buying and looking at cans, packages and other items on shelves that is money sitting and could be more pertinent for something else (like a savings account).

While saving money isn't a given, it doesn't have to be so laborious that you simply throw your hands up and let the status quo become your customary way of living when it comes to money.

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