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you planning on a "New Year's Resolution" to start saving
more money in 2004?
Like any resolution, unless some
action is taken on your part, nothing will ever change.
For example, if your New Year's
resolution is to lose weight, you WILL have to change a few eating
habits and/or exercise regularly. If your goal is to quit smoking,
then you WILL need to make an honest effort to stop smoking.
Key To Your Success
The key to making your resolution become a reality is to set a
'goal'. In other words, what do you want the 'extra' money for? Are
you saving for a new car stereo system? What about a family trip to
Point is, when you have something to
strive for, saving money becomes ten times easier. This goal is
something you really want, so you will do what is necessary to be
Once you have a tangible goal to work
toward, establish an amount you will need to reach. Or, how much is
your 'goal' going to cost?
For example . . .
A new car stereo system - $200-$700,
depending on quality. A trip to Vegas - $350-$1800, depending on
Start off just a week at a time.
Decide how much you need to save per week in order to reach your
goal. Use these tips to help save money each and every week:
Avoid Eating Out
This may be your
number one money saver depending on how often you dine out. Trips to
restaurants and fast food 'joints' can quickly add up to be an
expensive bill. Try and limit your outings to once a week, or better
yet, once a month. On other days, pack a lunch or cook at home. Not
only will you find yourself saving money, but you'll be eating
healthier at the same time.
Adopt The "Do I REALLY Need
This" Approach Before you purchase ANYTHING
Ask yourself if
you REALLY truly need to have it. Whenever you are tempted to buy
something, ask yourself "Do I REALLY NEED this new item, or do
I just WANT it?" You may be surprised to learn that some of the
purchases you make, you simply WANT to have and can probably get by
without it (at least for now).
Put A Limit On Entertainment Costs
Who's to say that you need to spend $150 every time you have a night
on the town? There are a number of activities that don't cost much
like miniature golf, bowling, movies, picnics, camping, museums,
scenic spots, local college sporting events, city parks,
beaches/rivers/lakes, and the list goes on and on. Point is, be
creative and have fun without spending all your hard earned money.
Don't Let The Kids Have Free Money
How often do you find your children saying 'Mom/Dad, let me have a
few bucks!' Many of us don't mind, or sometimes we are too busy at
the time to put up an argument. Regardless, this will cut into your
savings potential, and delay you from achieving your GOAL. Instead
of just giving your children money, make them earn it. Teach them
the value of money and they will soon learn not to spend their money
haphazardly since it does not "grow on trees".
Stash Your Savings In A Special Place
Don't forget to do this! You wouldn't want to spend the money that
you've worked so hard to save. Designate a special container for
your savings where all the extra money can be put. As they say, 'Out
of sight, out of mind', right? Maybe even a specially designated
bank account to take the risk of spending out of the picture.
*NOTE*: Take extra special care in
where you keep your container, and who you tell about it. This is
your personal goal, so there is no reason the whole world has to
These are only a
few money saving tips you can implement into your day-to-day
routines. Keep in mind though, these aren't your only possibilities
to help put some extra money in your pocket, but they are some of
the easiest to implement into your daily life.
Take time to reflect on your current
situation. Analyze your expenses to see where you might be able to
'cut-back' to save more money. Remember, you and only you control
the amount of money you save in 2004.
You'll find that when you set a goal
that is important to you, saving money is really not that hard. If
it is important to you, then you will make the small sacrifices to
accomplish that goal.
Best of luck in attaining your New
Year's Money Saving Goal!