Finer Finance Fridays #3 - Part I
Social and traditional media can paint a certain picture of what it means to be wealthy, ballin', expensive shoes, purses, and clothes, huge mansions, expensive cars, and high profile careers. Honestly, if you buy into that image, being wealthy may feel like an impossible dream.
The fact is, most wealthy people live very normal lives, and you might not ever know who they area, because they don't flaunt it. Why, because they know the secret to getting wealthy and staying wealthy. Don't spend more money than you have! You can accomplish that a few ways,
Reduce your expenses
Increase your income
Actively manage your cash flow
In this edition of Finer Finance Fridays we are going to focus on #1, reducing your expenses. It's really easy to tell someone "spend less", but HOW can it be done? Here are a few suggestions to get you started.
Review your monthly REQUIRED bills. For the things that are required, see if you can reduce usage, to reduce expenses. For those things that are optional and "nice to have", if you don't need it, if you can live without it, CUT IT!
Keep track of where you spend every penny. If you are more of a traditionalist when it comes to technology, keep a notebook with your expenses listed. If you prefer a more tech savvy method, try a spreadsheet in Excel or use an online tool. Some even have downloadable apps to track your spending on the go. Two of my favorites for personal use are Mint and Personal Capital You can find more here: Best Personal Finance Software
Check yourself, before you wreck yourself...review your daily routine. Are you doing things in your daily routine that cost you more money than you have. Consider, if you spend money each day on lunch or Starbucks, why not put $1 aside a day from that. You'd have $365 at the end of the year. Consider taking your lunch or investing in a one cup Keurig or Keurig-"like" coffee/ espresso maker. This type of investment will save you more in the long run.
Review your financial relationships with your bank and creditors. Try to negotiate lower interest rates or no interest rates on what you owe and higher interest rates on what you save. Are you paying lots of ATM fees or other fees? Why? Any fee is a waste of money! You might switch your accounts for better interest rates and lesser or no fees. Remember, it's your money, advocate for it!
Be good to the environment and it will be good to your purse! Consider changing out your old incandescent light bulbs for fluorescent bulbs (CFL) and LEDs, put in a programmable thermostat, make sure your windows and doors are properly sealed, insulate your water heater with blankets, turn off the water and lights when you aren't using them. Dress appropriately insider your home to save on heating and air-conditioning expenses. These simple things can help cut down on electricity costs. This applies to homeowners and apartment dwellers. Check out ways to lower electricity bills at an apartment or rental home.
These are just a few things you can do to start reducing expenses. Stay tuned for next Friday's edition of Finer Finance Fridays for Part II of this tip, which will focus on the benefits of spending less! It's not all bad and you don't have to suffer :) Be sure to check out the blog next week for more in this series.