by Stacy Francis, CFP®, CDFA
It’s halfway through 2014 and it’s time to make some changes. So what’s it to be? If you are REALLY serious about saving money and are willing to make a few changes in your spending habits, then read on.
1. Set goals and have fun The key to making your resolution become a reality is to set a 'goal'. In other words, what do you want or need the 'extra' money for? Are you saving for a new beautiful handbag? What about a family trip to Las Vegas? Set up a savings account for nice things like shopping, holidays and other treats, and you won’t begrudge putting some of your hard-earned cash to one side each month.
2. Pay off one loan/debt over the next 6 months Some of us tend to collect debts like others collect handbags. The fact is, debts are not a necessary part of life. Make a pact with yourself over the next 6 months to get rid of as much of your debts as possible. Contact each credit card company and ask them for the total current balance. Work out how much that will cost you to pay off the debt completely over the next 6 months. It will probably surprise you how little it will impact on your lifestyle. Set up a direct debit and forget it.
3. Get a pay rise You know how, no matter what you earn, you always seem to live beyond your means? Well, now is as good as any time to take action. Collar your boss and ask for that pay rise. The worst that can happen is they'll say no. And if they do, start looking for another employer who will pay what you deserve.
4. Cut out one money wasting expense like eating out This may be your number one money saver depending on how often you dine out. Trips to restaurants and fast food 'joints' quickly add up to be an expensive bill. Try and limit your outings to once a week. Not only will you find yourself saving money, but you'll be eating healthier at the same time.