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3 Steps to Buying More Stuff You Want Right Now

3 Steps to Buying More Stuff You Want Right Now

Most people think that the secret to solving their problems is more money—they think that if they increase their income then they’ll be able to buy more stuff and life will get easier. I’ve seen surveys where people estimate that if their income increased 10% it would make a huge difference to their standard of living, but the problem is that when they reach that amount, they still feel they need another 10% on top of that as well.

It’s a never-ending cycle of income (and spending) increase, so let’s break the cycle right now by learning 3 steps to buying more stuff you want right now.

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Step #1 – Awareness

Most of us have no idea where our money is actually going, and we have to ask ourselves whether we’re spending it on things that really matter to us. The little things we buy have an amazing way of adding up and we have to look at their long term cost to fully understand what we’re losing. For example, if you spend just $4 each weekday on snacks and coffee, you will have spent $1000 in a year. Are those snacks really giving you $1000 of value each year? Or would you rather be spending that on a vacation, your family, or a hobby you love?

Action Step #1: Take a little notebook or piece of paper with you for the next week and write down everything you spend money on. Then take these figures and use them to estimate your yearly spending. You’ll be amazed what this easy exercise will reveal.

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Step #2 – Prioritize

Now that you know where your money’s going, you need to ask yourself if you’re really happy with your spending habits. Maybe you really want your snack and coffee habit but you could do without some magazines. Maybe there are some food items you can do without, or you could cut back on your electric bill somehow. Everyone’s spending is their own personal choice and it’s completely up to you where you spend your money. That being said, I suggest that you prioritize your spending based on your own personal needs and wants—that way you’ve made a conscious choice to spend your money on the things that are most important to you.

Action Step #2: Make a list of all your current spending and put it in your own order of importance. Are there things that you’d like to buy that you feel you can’t purchase now? Add them to your list and work out how important they actually are to you in comparison with everything else.

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Step #3 – Management

Now that you’ve determined what’s really important to you it’s time to embed some habits to help you get them. The reason that it’s easy to spend $4 a day on snacks and not save for a vacation right now is simply because of our established routines. Change your habits and you’ll bring more of the things you want into your life.

Once you decide what you want to buy then you can put a strategy in place to get there. Let’s say that you want your $1000 vacation but never have that much in the bank. Well, now we set up a strategy where you put just $4 a day towards your trip. I like to withdraw my spending money in cash at the start of the week, so I know exactly how much I have to spend on food, fun, and my long-term savings goals (which goes into a clearly labeled jar or savings account). If I run out of fun money that week then I have to wait until Monday rolls around before I can spend more.

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You’ll be surprised how easy this discipline becomes with a little practice, and it’s easy to stay motivated when you have your vacation fund growing right before your eyes. If you find that you keep dipping into your savings, then put barriers in the way, such as moving them to an account that’s hard to access or giving them to a trusted friend for safe keeping.

Action Step #3: Create a money-management strategy that works for you. Make it simple and easy to follow, and use safeguards to stay honest. When temptation strikes remember the true cost of that $4 snack and decide if it’s really worth it.

When you implement the Awareness – Prioritize – Management steps in your life you’ll find yourself buying things that you could “never afford” before, and enjoying your money a whole lot more.

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Published on July 4, 2018

Top 10 Recommendations on Money Management Apps

Top 10 Recommendations on Money Management Apps

Don’t want to overspend your budget, swipe your credit card too many times, and feel like a financial mess? Instead of beating yourself up for the bad financial decisions you’ve ever made, create a new plan!

The solution is simple, save more and spend less. But, we all know it’s easier said than done.

One problem is finding quality apps that save you time and money, and aren’t just hype.

Luckily, there’re many great money management apps available at your fingertips. Here are 10 reliable money management apps that can help you save money, and crush debt.

1. Personal Capital

    When was the last time you’ve tracked your net worth? Probably months ago or maybe never. Personal Capital allows you to easily track your net worth and plan for retirement.

    Here are some of its main features:

    • Sync many investment accounts, and expenses (mortgage, credit cards, etc.) in one place
    • Discover hidden fees and how much they’re affecting your retirement plan
    • Wealth management for investors requiring a long-term strategy

    With Personal you’re free to track your expenses and net worth.

    Available for: iOS and Android

    2. Mint

      If your smartphone could only install a few apps, Mint would be one of them. Why? Because Mint tracks all your balances and bills in one place.

      Here are some of its main features:

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      • Effortlessly track all your bills and balances in one dashboard
      • Categorized expenses to understand where you spend your money
      • Uncover hidden fees, and determine your investment style with sophisticated retirement tools.

      Feel at ease with managing your money by a reputable company that isn’t going anywhere.

      Available for: iOS and Android

      3. YNAB

        Everyone needs a budget, there’s no way around it. YNAB (You Need A Budget) is an easy to use app that will change the way you think about money. Their motto is to “give every dollar a job”, and you’ll quickly discover why.

        Here are some of its main features:

        • Easily sync all bank accounts in one place
        • Visually see your debt paying progress with eye-catching charts and notifications
        • Customized categories setting saving goals

        The best part about YNAB is the community that comes along with it. You can hop on the YNAB forum to receive support, listen to the YNAB Podcast or stay tuned for their weekly videos.

        Available for: iOS and Android

        4. Wealthfront

          Albert Einstein once said “compound interest is the eight wonder in the world”, and for a very good reason. The problem is, most people are scared or unwilling to learn the basics of investing. This is why Wealthfront is the perfect solution for the hands-off investors.

          Here are some of its main features:

          • Variety of investment account options including IRA, Roth IRA, and more
          • Your portfolio composed of 7 different asset classes
          • Automatically rebalanced portfolio
          • Daily tax loss harvesting

          Wealthfront is perfect for people requiring investment guidance, or prefer a hands-off solution.

          Available for: iOS and Android

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          5. Clarity Money

            If you’re staying on top of your budget but want to take your finances to the next level, Clarity Money can help you. Clarity Money helps you stay under budget and build a personalized savings plan.

            Here are some of its main features:

            • Easily cancel subscriptions with one click
            • Synchronize bank accounts fast
            • Transfer money effortlessly between different accounts

            Clarity Money isn’t an app that does it all. But, it does make transferring money and canceling subscriptions fast and efficient.

            Available for: iOS and Android

            6. Acorns

              What if there was a way to quickly gain confidence in investing your money, without too much risk? There is, and Acorns is your solution. With Acorns’s technology, you’re able to make investments as small as $5.

              Here are some of its main features:

              • Automatic contribution option
              • Customized portfolio tailored to your needs
              • Low management fees ranging from $1-$2 per month

              Stop wasting dollars on expensive coffee. Instead, invest them towards a brighter financial future.

              Available for: iOS and Android

              7. Albert

                Do you budget by only subtracting your expenses from your income? If so, how would you discover any overpayments or extra money you could save? This is where Albert shines, and it does it all free.

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                Here are some of its main features:

                • Receive notifications for overpayments, hidden fees, and low balances
                • An Automatic budget that’s built around your spending and income
                • Easily track debt and set new financial goals

                While Albert does offer a paid option, most of its core features are FREE. So, what better option to save?

                Available for: iOS

                8. Prism

                  Have you recently forgot to pay a bill because life got in the way? Prism automatically tracks your bills and syncs your bank accounts in one place.

                  Here are some of its main features:

                  • View all your account balances in one glance
                  • Bill due dates are automatically pulled and tracked
                  • Receive early reminders for upcoming bills

                  If your budget is on “fleek” but can’t seem to stay on top of your bills, Prism is your go-to app.

                  Available for: iOS, Android, Windows, Amazon

                  9. Mvelopes

                    Remember hearing about people using envelopes to budget their money? Well, Mvelopes is the new envelope system for this generation. Easily create monthly budgets and track your saving goals.

                    Here are some of its main features:

                    • Connect unlimited bank accounts
                    • Real-time budgeting with auto transaction syncing
                    • Low monthly $4 fee or $40 annual

                    Mvelopes can help you crush debt, save more, and help you stop overspending. With its low monthly fee, it’s worth a try.

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                    Available for: iOS and Android

                    10. Wallaby

                      Most people don’t have time to track their credit card’s changing rewards and interest rates. Because of this, you need help reaping the most of your credit card’s rewards. Wallaby is the app that will help you do just that.

                      Here are some of its main features:

                      • Automatic recommendations for the best credit card to use for each transaction
                      • A friendly user interface, displaying credit cards with their corresponding images
                      • Free to use

                      If you’re using the same credit card to make your purchases, you may be leaving money on the table. Give Wallaby a try if you’re ready to maximize your credit card’s rewards.

                      Available for: iOS and Android

                      Take control of your finances and experience financial freedom

                      Picture yourself staying on budget and saving more money than you’d ever imagined.

                      It took hard work and dedication but you’d finally learned how to manage your money. You have to start taking control of your spending and saving habits.

                      You now have a list of reliable apps that can help you build better money habits, what are you waiting for?

                      Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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