I Can't Save Money!
© 2002 Darlene Arechederra
I've got a confession to make... I used to believe that. We've
all been there... We make a commitment to stop spending.
We work hard to plug up the leaks. We try new strategies,
hoping each will be the special one to provide some momentum.
If you've tried over the years to save money or live more
frugally, you've probably come across the simple strategy of
tracking your spending. But what if that doesn't work for you
either -- despite your best intentions?
There is an alternative -- track what you *save* instead. Here's
an example of how to use this to your advantage.
Let's say you dream of starting a small home business, perhaps an
online business. There is no extra money to tap into, and you have
decided you wouldn't borrow money to get started. So how would
you fund your dream?
Using the *Saved List* strategy, you could begin to build your
home business dream account over the next year.
How to Get Started with Your *Saved List*
Keep track of what you save -- just as you would if you were
tracking your spending.
1. Create a simple 5-column chart (handwritten works great) with
the following items at the top:
*Date*---*Item*---*Normal Cost*---*What you Saved*---*Total Saved*
The idea is that every time you're tempted to spend money, but
choose not to, you write that down, along with how much you
are saving. This also works well for items like not renewing
subscriptions to magazines you no longer have time to read.
If you find a way to pay less for auto insurance, the amount
you managed to save would be written into your list, too!
Here's a sample of a common, everyday item that added up to
hundreds per year for me--buying coffee out every morning. I was
able to quickly nip that in the bud by making my own coffee to
bring with me.
Knowing that I could set aside all money saved by this small
change created a huge motivating factor for me. That is money
I can now invest into my business.
2. Each week, total up your savings, then write out a check to
yourself for half of it. Mail that check in to your business dream
account, or any special account you have created, to build it up.
If you can't write out a check for half your savings right
away, start with a smaller amount, perhaps one-fourth of what you
saved this week... Regardless of the amount, do something to move
Why write a check? To reward yourself for doing such a great
job, and to take the money out of circulation. Even *saved*
money will get absorbed if not tucked away...
Why this works...
- You will have your own built-in reward system. Tracking your
savings creates constant motivation for you.
- You will find yourself automatically spending less because you
want the reward that comes from building your Saved List.
- Finding ways to save will become a priority for you, because it
keeps your dream at the forefront of your mind.
- You can still accomplish your goals, even if other methods
haven't worked for you.
- You will learn that you're not 'giving up' anything when you save.
You are merely exchanging what you are willing to spend your
hard-earned money on.
- Money saved will no longer be 'absorbed' after all that hard work.
Now, decide what it is you really want more than anything else in
your life at this moment (stay home, start a small home or online
business, become debt free, save money to retire early).
Use the above method to fund your dream. You'll never again lack
the motivation to keep saving money.
Remember, methods and strategies are not *one size fits all*.
Find what works for *you*. Then use it to move you forward. It
only takes one good strategy to put you back on track.
You *can* save money!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Darlene Arechederra lives in St. Louis, MO
with her husband, new foster son, and two special Lab mutts. Her
FREE, daily ezine serves up no-budget strategies for busy women.
Darlene takes you by the hand to break the paycheck-to-paycheck
cycle, so you can do what you *love* to do -- not what you *have*
to do -- for a living. http://www.RatRaceRemedies.com.
The Orange Savings Account. Great rates, no fees, no minimums.