12 Lifestyle Changes To Save Money Faster

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Who says only cheapskates can save money? Sure, tightening your belt is nice and all, but it’s not exactly fun. What’s fun is being able to save money without even realizing it! Here are 12 lifestyle changes that will help you save money faster.

1. Borrow Goods, Not Money

One essential lesson in personal financial planning is to borrow money as less often as possible. You see, borrowing money always has a cost, this is why your credit card, or personal loan will generally have interest fee attached to them. So if you need a particular item for a short period of time, the trick is to borrow directly the good if you can, instead of going into debt to acquire it. For example, borrowing a movie, a book, or a gown for a special party, instead is much better for your wallet than buying or renting them.

2. Automate Your Finances

Another major rule in money saving, if to set up automatic transfers to your savings accounts. Plus, if your company offers a 401(k) plan (or RRSP in Canada), consider taking advantage of it. A 401(k) lets you save a portion of your salary to a special account, which ensures that you accumulate money over time without lifting a finger.

3. Create Bad Habit (BH) Jars

For every instance that you’re tempted to smoke, swear, or fall back into your bad habits, drop a penny into your BH jar. You’ll be surprised at how much it adds up over time!

4. Exercise Regularly

Keeping yourself healthy through regular exercise and good diet will help you save on medical expenses in the long run. This may sound odd, but in several countries, the fight against tobacco and obesity is not just a matter of health, but also of public finances that are being eroded by increasing social and medical expenses.

5. Take a Work-From-Home Job

Telecommuting jobs are on the rise, mainly because of their cost savings for companies. But companies aren’t the only ones that free-up cash from these jobs. When you work from home, you don’t have to spend on transportation, take-out meals, office attire and office supplies. Also, you’re free to do whatever you want at home, as long as you still do your job. It’s an ideal working arrangement, don’t you think? Read this article for 32 legitimate ways to make money at home.

6. Write a Grocery List and Stick to It

Before you head for the store, make sure you’ve written down everything you need to buy. That way, you won’t be tempted to blow your budget on impulse purchases. Plus, going to the grocery store to buy all the food you need, will help you save money on restaurants, taxes and tips.

7. Learn Basic Home Repair

If you know how to fix minor problems like leaky faucets, cold drafts and clogged sinks, you’ll save plenty on plumbing and repair expenses. However, it’s best to leave the more complicated and dangerous problems, such as faulty power outlets, to the professionals.

8. Buy Clothes That Never Go Out of Style

Whether you’re a fashionista or not, you’ll need to fill your closet with some classic essentials. Even a simple shirt-and-jeans combo will do for most occasions. Pro tip:  shop within a color palette to maximize your closet and be sure that all of your clothes seamlessly mix and match.

9. Don’t Be “Penny Wise, Pound Foolish”

Saving doesn’t always mean spending less. Sometimes, it’s more financially sound to buy the more expensive option. For example, if you’re like most Americans, you probably spend a whopping 600 hours in your car every year. Assuming that goes on for at least five years, your car has to be new, of high-quality and able to meet your specific travel needs. You won’t get that kind of service from a “lemon,” whose only real benefit to you is the initial savings from a lower purchase price.

10. Remember This Formula: Income – Savings = Expenses

It’s easier to estimate how much you want to save than to limit how much you want to spend. If you want to calculate the breaking point of your finances, deduct your target savings from your net monthly income. The result will be the amount you’ll have to budget for the month.

11. Move to a Cheaper Place (If Possible)

If you feel like you can’t afford the cost of living in your area, maybe it’s time to move to a place where you don’t have to break the bank on even the most basic necessities. Consider moving out of the city, or if you’re an urbanite for life check out the cheapest cities in the U.S.

12. Treat Yourself Once in a While

You know how you binge eat after following an overly restrictive diet for too long. It’s the same thing with money. If you deprive yourself of even the simplest luxuries for too long, you’ll easily cave to the urge to splurge. Don’t feel guilty about rewarding yourself once in a while, as long as you do it within limits. Speaking of which…

A Few More Words of Advice

Saving money doesn’t have to be a boring, soul-sucking experience. With a little ingenuity, foresight and patience, you can achieve your money goals before you know it.

Kate Wilson is a freelance writer and professional penny pincher who loves sharing her hard-earned wisdom with others. In her free time, you can find Kate enjoying her favorite pastimes a la the early 1900's, like public radio and classic American literature. Yes, really!

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