How many times have you promised yourself…I’m gonna “get responsible” and SAVE money!
I know I have. And, I’m here to tell you it’s time for a fresh approach!
Being self-employed most of my life, it seemed that feast or famine had been the greater part of my existence, and while everything always seemed to work out, there is no doubt that I needed some improvement in the area of financial security.
While I’m an A‑student when it comes to budgeting and tracking my cash, I haven’t always been the best at setting extra money aside.
The bills got paid, and if there was something left over, I generally spent it. I did this for enough years in a row (paying the bills that is) that my credit report was off-the-charts fantastic!
What a great credit rating got me was lots of credit, which I used extensively. However, three properties, one foreclosure and one defaulted credit card later it seems a high credit rating may not be all it’s cracked up to be.
My experience was that after literally two decades of loyalty and prompt payments to my banks, and an excellent credit rating they did little to help me when I saw the warning signs of a financial downturn.
I worked with one bank for TWO YEARS trying to sort out a loan modification, meanwhile destroying my credit, and in the end not coming to terms.
To be clear, I don’t feel victimized, but definitely wiser about the choices I make going forward in an age where – for me – cash is king.
I’ve developed three habits that keep me light on my feet and sleeping through the night!
Perhaps they’ll encourage you!
1. No credit cards. Not one. The money that I don’t spend on interest and buying things I, either can’t afford, or will tire of before they are paid for is worth far more than my credit rating at this point.
I wish all of you the profound joy of living truly within your means.
I know, I know, why not pay credit for what I was going to pay cash for and then pay it off at the end of the month and earn points or improve my credit rating. The truth is, I worried about my credit rating for years and I’m done with that…and points come and go. There may be a time for that, but for me, now is not that time.
2. I don’t count lattes. Doing that made me feel restricted, deprived and ultimately unhappy...and worse, develops a mentality of austerity, not prosperity. I wrote about shifting financial perspective a while back. Click here to read more on that.
And, my favorite....
3. I’ve learned to impulse SAVE. If there is something specific I want that I do not have the cash for, I identify exactly how much it will cost, and every time I want to impulse buy $10 here or $20 there, I, instead, go to the bank app on my phone and transfer that amount to my savings account.
I keep doing this until I have the chunk of moola I need for what I REALLY want!
If you don’t have a bank account with a phone app, DailyWorth just did a great article about an app called ImpulseSave that creates a virtual piggy bank that might work for you.
I am AMAZED at how quickly hundreds of dollars accumulate!
It can be as easy as saying no to the 3 for $10 bargain, then just getting the one you need for $4 and putting the other $6 into savings. It’s freaking rewarding, is what it is… and, really fun when you start to see how much you DON’T NEED.
Here’s to freedom from financial insecurity!
I look forward to hearing what tips or tricks you use, or hearing about your experience trying out one (or all) of my three ideas.
It’s important that you let me know how you are doing…what works for you and what doesn’t. You’ll be amazed how many of us are on the same journey.
Until then, I am in your corner…
photo credit: 401(K) 2012 via photo pin cc
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great article — I recently re-started an auto-deduction from my checking into an online savings...which I love as I don’t have to think about it anymore! Going to check out that impulsesave app you mentioned — thanks!
Thank you, Amy! Auto deduction is a great way to go...as you know:) When I was doing it, I never missed the money taken out, and all of a sudden I had a nice chunk of savings! Happy to hear you’re gonna check out impulsesave. I’m having so much FUN with that principle. Thanks again for connecting and for leaving your thoughts and experience. Happy Sunday! Warmly, Thais