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Budget Management: 10 Simple Tricks to Help You Save Money

Budget Management: 10 Simple Tricks to Help You Save Money

Stress is a pretty silent but a very strong killer and the most common source of stress people are dealing with today, is money. Being something that we can’t live without and that simultaneously isn’t a thing a lot of people can gather easily, money can be a serious issue.

You should get rid of this raining cloud that keeps following you around. First of all, it’s important to understand that the chances of a distant cousin leaving you with a huge inheritance and turning your luck around are quite negligible and you shouldn’t count on them.

However, the good thing is that you can enjoy your lifestyle and improve it significantly if you introduce a couple of changes to your life.

Make a Realistic Plan

People who overspend usually do it because they are unaware of their spending limits. Having nice things implies that you have to work hard for them – so, be realistic. If you want to stop starving during the last week of each month, you should begin them by making a budget plan. Thus, you’ll be able to stretch your budget, afford all the necessities and direct those leftovers towards enjoying yourself.

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Mind Your Cooking

First of all – if you don’t prepare your meals at home, you should start. Eating healthy should be on the top of your priority list; it’s the source of your health and energy – and it’s less expensive than eating out.

Once you’ve got quality sorted out, you need to focus on quantity. A huge number of households are wasting enormous amounts of food by preparing too much, eating too little and throwing out the rest. You will need some time to harmonize the amounts of ingredients in your meals, but until you’re a pro, you should eat leftovers – simple as that.

Goods Exchange

Instead of purchasing new clothes or books, you should settle for used items. Many great organizations and websites out there are built as mediums and serve to connect people who want to exchange their used goods for others or sell them for a lower price than those you’d expect to see in stores.

Turn off Cable

Most households still subscribe to cable TV because out of nothing more than maintaining a habit. The truth is that you can spend more time with your personal computer or smartphone than watching TV and it seems like this appliance has become more of a noise regulator than an entertainment source. Besides, everyone is turning towards mediums like Netflix, as they are less expensive and a lot more user-friendly.

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Use Public Transportation

Other than being a green alternative, trains and busses are also a cheaper transportation method that can actually be faster if you harmonize your schedule with theirs. Sure, cars are comfy, private and all that, you’re used to that luxury, but it’s a thing you can live without. At least for now.

Change Your Phone Plan

Many people just sort of go with the plan their mobile career selects for them – you should change your phone plan because you can. You should evaluate how much you actually use your package because I bet that you spend more time using Wi-Fi. Considering the fact that your smartphone is one very personal item, you should adapt it to your needs.

My suggestion is to think about mobile phone insurance as well, so that you have a backup if it gets lost, stolen or damaged – you won’t have to worry about those costs if that time comes.

Collect Coupons

If you’d like to spend less money, you should invest more time. In order to cut your shopping costs regarding the essential list of items you find necessary like groceries and hygiene products, you should gather coupons and use them wisely. Almost all supermarkets and stores have an extensive list of discount offers you should definitely take advantage of.

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Entertain Guests

These changes will affect your social life as well, but that doesn’t mean that you should withhold from socializing – simply move it from overpriced bars and restaurants to your home and entertain your guests.

My suggestion is to make a selection of must-see things – your favorite band having a concert or an exhibition you’ve been waiting to see for a really long time and save up for those events. Going out should be all about spending quality time and doing the things you like – I’m sure you got bored on numerous occasions by following your friends to an event you’re indifferent about and this change is going to have a positive effect on that.

Think about Electricity

Simple things – I’m sure you’re already familiar with this because every single article about saving money mentions it – like turning off lights when you leave the room, make a significant difference at the end of the month and you should apply them.

One more thing that’s less known – you should unplug all appliances you don’t use because that way, you won’t spend any “phantom energy” those very same appliances are draining even when they’re not turned on.

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Consult Professionals

People go to school in order to learn how to manage budgets, so this is a skill you learn. If you don’t seem to make a difference and you still end up getting back to old spending habits, you should either consult a professional or sign up for a class.

This investment of your time into learning about money and how to treat your budget properly will make you a happier person in time – it did so for me. Life is a better place when you don’t have to worry or stress out over bills each day.

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Last Updated on July 8, 2020

18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

The act of writing in a journal often seems daunting or unnecessary to many people. Even authors who work on novels might shun the idea of daily diaries. What purpose does jotting down words on a regular basis do if not contributing to the next novel, play or song? I know from experience many benefits of journaling that I wish to share.

1. Understand Yourself Better

Though many people and even writers avoid keeping journals, I vow to do it more often. Not only do I desire to take up daily journaling but also I plan to do it with pen to paper.

Some of the benefits I’ve found from my more active days include finding myself in the sense of understanding what matters to me and what I want out of life. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to find a spouse who is my best friend and advocate in raising children. I attribute this and much more to what I learned about myself in keeping journals for years.

2. Keep Track of Small Changes

I’ll admit that I never got very far with my guitar lessons, but in writing in a journal, I have seen the ability to track small changes like those that come when you practice anything.

Those learning a musical instrument often fail to see the small improvements that come with regular practice. Writing won’t help you switch chords any faster, but it will help you to develop a better sense for language and grammar just by doing it.

3. Become Aware of What Matters

As you continue to write in a journal, following a stream-of-consciousness feel, you can look back on the topics that you chose to write about. Those issues and emotions that poured out of you will provide insight on to what matters most to you.

You may not even realize that you’re job is depressing you or that you want to spend more time with your kids until you look over your thoughts that you weren’t really thinking about.

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4. Boost Creativity

The idea that the brain and its neural activity across hemispheres encourages learning also shows up in increased creativity. Just like with learning an instrument, your increased activity will inspire your thoughts to connect and reconnect in different ways.

When I wrote in a journal, I often wrote poetry as well as just my thoughts as they came out. I started to hear poems more in my mind; so much so that I took to scrawling lines on napkins and finding metaphors in mundane activities.

You really are what you do, so writing helps grow more than being a writer. Writing boosts the way you communicate and structure language, which really is a creative process.

5. Represents Your Emotions in a Safe Environment

A journal is as private as it gets. You can lock it in a safe or tuck it under a pillow and no one will accidentally share it on social media or have an opportunity to “leave a comment.”

Write about your sorrow as much as your happiness and frustration and know that you don’t have to keep your emotions inside your body. You can put them on paper.

6. Process Life Experiences

When you take the time to look back over what you’ve written, be it a week or a year later, you will have the distance you need to more objectively interpret your raw feelings.

Everything from losing a job to losing a loved one can emerge in a new light for a fresh perspective. Figuring out how the benefits of journaling affect your perspective on life will create connection and increase creativity.

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7. Stress Relief

In combining the exercise inherent in fine motor coordination that comes from the act of writing with the emotional release of self expression, those who maintain a journal relieve stress.

Try it out. Go home and write about your day. Write about the traffic. Write about the coffee order the barista got wrong but you didn’t have time to change. See how you can physically purge some of that pent-up stress by putting it on paper.

8. Provide Direction

Though journaling is often conducted as an activity without much direction, it often provides direction.

One of the biggest benefits of journaling is that your chaotic thoughts merge to show a direction in which to head. Asking the right questions is the only way to achieve the best solutions, so look to your journal to find your way toward your next goal.

9. Solve Problems

Just as in practicing math problems, we all get better at finding hidden solutions through the act of processing.

Think of your next goal as X and solve your life problems by reading your journals as word problems. The benefit of journaling here is that you write, explore and process to recognize and then solve problems.

When life is too in-your-face, you have to step back to see reality. Living in the moment allows us to write in the moment and use that expression to solve problems.

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10. Find Relief From Fighting

Solving your problems only comes after time to process, recognize and strategize. Just as in the benefit of journaling where relief comes from the act of writing, relief from fighting comes when you decide to “sit this one out” and communicate one-way.

Fighting is only productive when the fighters care to communicate and find common ground. When the emotions are as high as the stress levels, writing will function as the best time out.

11. Find Meaning in Life

Journaling will show you why you are living, whether you are wallowing in things you wish to change or striving to make the changes. Your life will begin to take on new meaning and your own words will reveal the actions that got you where you are so that you can assess and pave a new path for your future.

12. Allow Yourself to Focus

Taking even a small amount of time out of every day will provide you with not only peace of mind but also increased focus. Taking a break to meditate in writing and journaling will sharpen your mental faculties.

13. Sharpen Your Spirituality

When we write, we allow all the energy and experiences to flow through us, which often provides further insight into our own spirituality. Even if your parents didn’t raise you to follow a specific religion, your thoughts will start to show you what you believe about the universe and your place in it.

14. Let the Past Go

I’ve mentioned a few examples where going back over your writing offers advice and direction, but the simply truth is that writing down our feelings can be the best way to let them go. We can choose to literally throw these pages away when they’re filled with negativity and hate.

15. Allow Freedom

Journaling is the perfect way to not only express yourself but to also experience the freedom of being who you are. Your books can stay private or you can publish them. Your freedom stems from your sense of self and your perception of your thoughts.

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16. Enhance Your Career

Again, the private act of pen-to-paper processing provides the benefits of journaling mentioned above, but you can also enhance your career when you take similar ideas and categorize, edit and publish them in an online blog.

Your thoughts will often be personal and express emotions, but another benefit of journaling is uncovering fresh ideas about your work.

17. Literally Explore Your Dreams

All the benefits I’ve mentioned explore ideas, thoughts and emotions, which is also what our dreams and nightmares do. Through writing down your dreams from the previous night, you can enhance your creativity as well as connect some of the metaphorical dots from the rest of your journal.

18. Catalog Your Life for Others

No one wants to think about dying, but we all die. Leaving a journal will act as a way to reconnect with family and friends left behind. The ideas you wish to keep personal while you process the life you’re living will serve to rekindle and inspire those who loved you through the process.

We consider our partners our life witnesses, but writing provides a tangible mark on the world.

Now that you’ve learned all the benefits of journaling, it’s time to start writing a journal:

Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

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