Too many people view saving money as a necessary hardship. However, saving money can be fun if you have the right attitude. Enthusiasm can help you overcome a multitude of financial difficulties. Adopt these two frames of mind to improve your money saving efforts.
Who’s More Important Than—YOU?
It’s alright to be a bit selfish. After every pay period, the first “bill” you pay should be a deposit to your savings account. Even if you can only afford $10 or $20 per pay period, pay yourself first before taking care of your other monthly obligations.
This simple, habit-forming plan will generate a very healthy savings account over time. If you’re not familiar with the amazing effects of “compounding” (earning interest on interest), perform a little internet surfing. You’ll quickly understand how compounding can create large dollars that continue to increase forever.
There are few more fun activities than watching your savings account grow. Paying yourself first, before the car, electric, heating oil, or mortgage payment, is rewarding and enjoyable.
Green Living Saves You Money
Sustainable living, including everyday energy conservation and recycling, makes you feel good and saves you money. Often, the simplest actions that cost you little or nothing save you the most money over time.
For example, fixing leaky faucets, controlling heat and air conditioning temperatures when you’re sleeping or not at home, using CFLs (compact fluorescent light bulbs), sealing window or door air leaks, and keeping insulation tight save you big bucks over the long-term. These simple, everyday conservation actions require little cost or major effort. Just riding your bicycle instead of driving your car will save you money and make our environment happier.
Consider this statistic: Your clothes dryer is a constant and hungry energy consumer. Next to your refrigerator, it is the top fossil fuel energy monster in your home. However, if you commit to hanging your laundry outside to dry in good weather, you might save around $70 per year—and your clothes will last longer, too.
“Eat your veggies.” Did your mother gently remind you of this when you were young? If you skip just one beef meal per week, you’ll save around $100 per person in your house per year. Per pound, vegetables cost only about one-fifth the cost of a pound of meat. Should you want to save more money and enjoy more fun, start your own organic garden. Seeds and small veggie plants are inexpensive and produce the freshest tomatoes, peppers, and green beans you could enjoy.
Manually change your thermostat or, better, install a programmable one (approximately $50), to save around $180 per year on heat and air conditioning. Reducing energy consumption when you’re sleeping or out of your home is easy and helps everyone living on a budget (all of us).
Green Living and Saving Money are a Good Match
When you combine saving money with everyday sustainable living, the results are enjoyable and financially rewarding. Even the simplest actions, like biking to the neighborhood store for milk and bread, accomplish multiple goals. In this case, you protect the environment (lower fossil fuel use and fewer contaminants), save money, and contribute to your health.
Living on a budget can be an enjoyable experience if you keep the right attitude, stay positive, set reasonable goals, and have fun. If you design your budget correctly—there are numerous online information sources to help you—it will not be a hardship. Quite the contrary. Your budget will become a road map to financial success for you and your family.
As you reduce your expenses, save money, increase your bank account, and feel good about yourself, you’ll also help our planet survive. Living on a budget has never been more fun.