You earn, save part of your income, and then spend the rest. The difference between money-savvy people and the spendthrift is spending wisely.
When you practice smart spending, your money stretches further. This translates to saving more money. When you recognise your spending follies, you start to save more money.
Identify your bad spending habits
1. Emotional purchases: These are “Oh! I love that gorgeous dress!” where you have already formed an emotional affection for the product.
2. Spontaneous purchases: Seeing the product or a well-designed promotional message will trigger the need for instant gratification.
3. Online shopping: First, you buy stuff in the comfort of your own home. Second, the products are cheaper compared with on-the-shelf. Last, you can pay with a credit card.
4. Eating out at expensive places: This happens when you get lazy or don’t want the hassle of cooking.
5. Buying more than necessary: Like having 20 pairs of shoes.
6. Succumb to peer pressure: You cave in so you can be “one of the boys”.
Kick out bad habits and replace them with good habits
1. Keep a simple lifestyle
To live a simple life means to slow down and give yourself breathing space. It is about “less” because you know to have more doesn’t lead to being happy.
The idea is to find happiness in simple things. Being content with “less” in everything you do or have.
2. Stick to a budget
Plan how you intend to spend your money to do what you need and what matters to you. It will also help you avoid debt or work your way out of debt.
3. Wait for three days before buying any non-essential product
Restrain from impulse buying by waiting three days before buying. By then, rationality prevails. Most of the time you forget it and life still goes on as usual.
4. Decide your main reason for wanting to save
Print it out in large font and hang it somewhere for easy viewing to keep you motivated.
5. Show gratitude for what you already have
You want less when you feel thankful for your life and experience. You are happier where you are and with what you already have in life. You will recognise just how little you need if you are grateful for what you have.
6. Compare before buying
Be a smart shopper and look for the best deals. Pre-plan your spending so you have time to scour around for the best prices. Or, wait it out until sales time for huge discounts.
7. Stop the unhealthy habits and/or addictions that cost you substantial money
The three sins – smoking, alcohol, and gambling. You are paying your own hard-earned money to literally “kill” yourself, slowly. To stop demands your full commitment and resolve.
8. Spend wisely. Be frugal but don’t be a cheapskate
Being a cheapskate is different from being frugal. For some items, do prioritise quality over quantity as it makes more financial sense in the longer term.
9. Negotiate for a better price
It’s not wrong to haggle for a better price. If you don’t ask, nothing will happen. But if you do, there is a 50% chance you will get a lower price.
10. Find someone to be accountable to
This could be your spouse, a close and trusted friend or any family member. You can talk about your big money goals and discuss your big buying choices. Your partner will remind you of your goals if your financial decision conflicts with them.
11. Remember to enjoy spending your money
It’s your money. Use it wisely and also make room for spending on fun activities you enjoy or on the people you love.
When and how you spend affects your ability to meet your money objectives.