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I Can't Save Money!
http://www.RatRaceRemedies.com
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 your forward.

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!

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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.
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