Are you looking noticeably tired today? Do you toss and turn at night, worrying about lost sleep or a void social life? Is money management making you a social martyr? Are you tired of losing sleep due to working a second (or even third) job?
Stop the insanity! Get a hold on money management. The best savings accounts are those with actual savings in them. Stop working so hard; take a step back, work smarter.
Image courtesy of BLW Photography from Flickr
Here are 9 ways to be smarter about money starting now.
Planning is underrated, especially for particular personality types. Do you use a planner or calendar? If not, you’re probably not a ‘natural’ planner; you may be more creative, getting things done on a whim. Don’t be whimsical with money. You won’t win that game. Visualize spending. See where money goes. Begin seeing more opportunities to save.
Think about helping someone else with handling their finances. Young people are good candidates. The pressure of being a good model may inspire you to really think about how you spend. It becomes more important to be efficient when others rely on your actions.
Have you heard of gamification? It’s the process of parlaying the award/demerit system of games into other facets of life. Do it with your finances. As suggested, compare savings accounts. Make it into a game, each week, month, quarter, etc. Reward yourself for reaching savings goals.
Cut out some of those credit cards. They’re money pits. Have you ever uttered, “I’ll do it later”? You know (without a doubt) you’re just delaying. You have no idea when you will actually do that task. Credit card companies like that philosophy. They want you to ‘get now’ and pay…later. Oh, you’ll pay later? That’s okay with creditors. They’ll just tack on more interest.
Perhaps it’s obvious for some, not so much for others. A savings account is not a frivolous luxury. It’s a need. Start thinking of them that way. What banks offer the best savings accounts? Have you ever asked the question? A checking account is for essential needs: rent, food, bills, etc. A savings account is your nest egg; we all need them. Start making savings a reality. You’ll find placing more emphasis on a savings account saves more money and frees more time.
By now, people have grown accustomed to their cellular phones. A number of people have their bills automated, without taking a look at charges. What kinds of elements are you getting charged for? Could you curtail your monthly plan? Are you paying for elements you don’t use/need? Could you get on a ‘plan’ with family members?
Serve yourself and save. When you begin organizing as suggested, you’ll start ‘seeing’ money holes, places where you repeatedly drop money in an unneeded fashion. For instance, do you need coffee? Whoa! Okay, people love their coffee. Let’s rephrase; do you need to buy it from Starbucks or another establishment? The cost of a cup of coffee has exceeded $2 in many places. That adds up. How about making your own? Those with the best savings accounts find ways to serve themselves.
Penny pinch where possible. Use coupons at the grocery store. Only buy clothes items on sale. Eat out once a month rather than once a week. Pinching is not being cheap; it’s being charitable to oneself. Rather than opening your wallet at the asking price of each vendor, realize each penny going to them is taking away from your savings. Each penny counts.
Continue to modify your spending actions. There is no reason to take away from your sleep or social life in exchange for financial security. Be in control. Start comparing savings accounts from this day forward. Make a promise to yourself, “I’m going to establish the best savings account; and it starts now.”
It all starts now. Aren’t you glad you saw this article? You don’t have to sacrifice ‘shut eye.’ You don’t have to be a social recluse. You just have to start thinking smarter about savings. Now, you will.
Image courtesy from radioher at Flickr
About Author | Geoffery is passionate about personal finance and frequently blogs for sites like Fair Investment Company. He enjoys sharing his knowledge on savings plans such as high interest savings account, fixed rate bonds and other investment opportunities.