Do Whatever it Takes

29 03 2011

Looking back at our first year of marriage, I wonder “where did our money go?” 

It was until my husband and I moved into a tiny apartment that we paid closer attention to our money.  Why?  Because we knew what the future held for us.  We wanted to purchase a house rather than pay a landlord rent.  After being sick and tired with living in such a state of monetary confusion, we had our first family “money” talk.  Yes, the dreaded money talk.

What did we speak about?  Future financial goals of having a nice chunk of savings by year-end and we wanted to eliminate excess spending while adding to our retirement accounts.

From then on, we did whatever it took to move ahead financially.  Nothing seemed too big of a challenge and with every small step, the picture of our future widened — our money grew!

Do Whatever it Takes:

  • Pay Yourself First.  Forget how much money is left after the bills are paid.  If you are serious about saving money, see what expenses you can cut out of your life.  With those expenses gone, you have more money to put away into a savings or retirement account.   
  • Make Savings Automatic.  In order to grow your savings money must be saved.  Saving money should be automatic.  Loose change should go into a change jar.  A portion of your paycheck should remain in savings. 
  • Live with Less.  The more you consume the more you want to consume.  Try living with minimal non-necessity shopping for one month.  You will come to discover that you really don’t need the items you are purchasing each month.  Financial security will take the place of tangible items!
  • Cook at Home.  Dining out can be very costly.  If you are dining out every week you can easily spend at least $100 per month.  Instead cook at home for a month or two.  You will find spending $100 per month will provide you and your family with more food than would eating out at a restaurant a few times per month.
  • Frozen Pizza.  Friday night’s pizza delivery sounds great especially after a long work week.  I remember spending close to $20 on a pie every Friday night.  That’s almost $80 per month on 4 pizza pies!  Instead I chose to buy frozen pizza at the grocery store for $2.50 or $10 per month versus $80.  The $70 difference went into an Emergency Fund!  Remember, do whatever it takes!
  • Envision your Future.  In order for change to happen you must know where you are going.  Envision your future.  Explore the lifestyle you want to have and then accomplish it!  For those that want to be homeowners, stick to a budget.  Eliminate unnecessary expenses!
  • Ignore Others.  Not everyone will understand your need for speed regarding fixing your finances.  What matters is staying on course and finishing your quest towards reaching financial freedom.  When others tease or make fun of your new savings strategies, use their comments to motivate you even further!
  • Stay Focused.  Life events can lead you off your path but remain focused.  Stay strong to your beliefs and soon enough victory will be yours! 
  • Change Your Behavior.  Whatever feelings you had towards money in the past should be changed.  If they were working for you, you wouldn’t be in the situation you are now.  Behavior is key to winning with money.  If you know money should go into an emergency fund, don’t spend it on a new lawnmower.  Change your behavior to include responsible financial decisions.

Here we are four years later.  What was once a “careless spending” lifestyle, changed into a “needless spending” lifestyle.  Spending less has caused us to have more – more financial security, money in retirement and money to purchase our first home.  Everyone can change their less than perfect financial past into a secure financial future!  Do whatever it takes!




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: