Monday, July 18, 2011
Almost every person that has taken a breath talks about how they don't make enough money or have a difficult time getting by, yet, it's also true that there are many ways that we can cut costs by making simple changes. Some of these changes are difficult to enact, especially if they're a luxury item that you've grown accustomed to viewing as a necessity. Through a little self-examination, you can slash your expenses and start to get your financial life in order. Who knows, with the money you save you might even want to invest in getting a degree with an online college at the University of Phoenix or other education programs.
Kicking The Habit:
It doesn't have to be smoking. A habit can be anything from eating out to curing your shopaholic tendencies. For example, many people buy an expensive premium coffee at their local coffee shop in the morning before they head out to work. These premium beverages cost somewhere between 2 to 6 dollars, and this expense up adds up over time into a huge financial loss. Instead of buying coffee each morning, try getting up a few minutes earlier and make it yourself. This is just an example, but it's these types of expenses that we rationalize in our daily lives and convince ourselves that we "deserve" them. Looking at your spending habits and cutting these costs is one of the quickest ways you can save. Who knows, you might even be able to pay a couple bills with the money you're saving.
Comparing Prices and Using Coupons:
People like to buy things on impulse. Much of the market encourages this behavior, but if you're like most Americans, after you've purchased an item, you quickly learn that the item you've bought isn't the wonder product that you thought it was. Taking a smarter and more responsible approach to your spending habits is an essential step in the saving process. Look at online product reviews to not only see what other people are saying, but find the best prices online. You can also find coupons and coupon codes online that will get you a discount towards the purchase if you really feel that you need the product.
This is perhaps the best example of cutting spending habits and making your dollar stretch a little further each month. We often confuse "want" with "need." We do this in a myriad ways, such as the premium coffee example above. Most of our purchases, besides necessities and bills, are motivated out of a rationalization on the part of the consumer. We tell ourselves that we somehow deserve something or that we need it to get by. This is, at the very heart of the matter, a rationalization in and of itself. If you think you might be doing this in your daily life, before you head to the checkout lane or click that, "confirm purchase" button, ask yourself, do I need this to get by? You'd be surprised at how much you can get by without, and although you might not have the latest and greatest gadget or toy, you'll be much better off at the end of the month when you're balancing your checking account.
It's important that people start to view their finances more responsibly. The last decade has been difficult on the average consumer that has shown to have a severe addiction to credit debt. Investing in a cappuccino maker is not, under any circumstances, the same as investing in online degrees. Look at the way you're spending as see where you could be doing things differently. It may be difficult, and even personally painful at times, but it's a necessity nonetheless.