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How to Change from a Spender (100|0|0) to a Saver (80|10|10).

How to Change from a Spender (100|0|0)  to a Saver (80|10|10).

So what’s with all of these numbers anyway?

The spender can look something like this: 100 | 0 | 0

Live” with 100% of your monthly income.

Save” with 0% of your monthly income.

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Give” with 0% of your monthly income.

And the saver can look something like this: 80 | 10 | 10

Live” with 80% of your monthly income.

Save” with 10% of your monthly income.

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Give” with 10% of your monthly income.

So what are you: a spender or a saver? If you are like me, you are probably somewhere in between and your significant other is unlikely to have the same numbers as you do. There is some math to this, so be prepared to have pencil and paper in hand.

The challenge is to change your numbers so you will never revert back to being that “spender” ever again! Change your numbers gradually by a small percentage (1 to 4% each quarter) and in 8 quarters (2 years), you will be where you want to be!

Let’s start by doing a reality and motivation check.

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The reality of our culture is to collect “stuff.” George Carlin, the late comedian, had a comedy sketch that nails this. George did not always use delicate vocabulary, but he sure could make you remember his point.

Our motivation to be a saver (and not a spender) is weakened by our desire to live in “ATM” mode. We like the freedom (but not the responsibility) of getting anything we want whenever we want. The secret here is timing. Go ahead and plan to spend what you want—but not all right at this very moment. Take your time (the rest of your life) doing it. The more you think about the value of your spending, the less money you will need to acquire the lifestyle that you want. It is also a sustainable approach, and that will motivate you to spend “wisely” and not “quickly!”

Say you go out to a flea market and buy a thing-a-ma-jig for almost nothing! What a great purchase, right? You put it in the garage (where the car could go)  and 3 years later you realize that you haven’t used it once. You decide to donate it to Good Will and at least recycle it.

Three years ago you also spent some serious coin on a really nice self-propelled grass mower because you have too much green on your property. You own two blades and you keep them sharp which helps you get a clean cut on your lawn. You now have to buy another one because you just plum wore the thing out. Now which was the better purchase?

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Well, now it’s time to do this spender-to-saver conversion plan, so let’s get organized. There are three steps that will get you on the road to abundant living.

  1. Track your debt and start eliminating outstanding balances.
  2. Live below your means. You can do things to reduce the cost of living AND increase the quality of your life.
  3. Save using a three bucket accumulation plan, sequentially at first and then concurrently, once you are in the savings groove.

First, go here to download your complementary copy of your Debt Trakker. Complete ALL the debt metrics because you need them to decide what to pay minimums on and what to target as your first debt victim.

Second, go here to download your complementary copy of your Budget Master. This organizer is a real eye opener and will tell you two things. It will show you where your spending makes you feel bad and where your spending makes you feel good. And I’m NOT talking about how much “stuff” you are accumulating along the way. Keep working on it until ALL your spending makes you feel good. And spending includes saving and giving.

Third: now it’s time to do your lifetime planning. Click this (Cash Flow LifeLine & Three Bucket Savings Plan) and download your handy-dandy worksheet and map your future. It gets you started on your savings path that includes cash reserve, non-retirement savings, and retirement savings.

You will start taking debt payments (once you pay off balances) and convert them into savings and giving payments. Start by fully funding cash reserves (6 months of monthly expenses covered between bank savings and unused credit lines). Then start saving for non-retirement items such as cars, homes, education, dental, eyes, vacations, remodeling. Once your cash reserves are in place and some non-retirement savings are accumulated, then you can start to fully fund retirement. You should have assassinated your debt balances by now and could have more monthly cash flow to fund your future. Remember that you are likely to live longer than you think, so go crazy with your savings. And, for the record, savings IS future spending!

Plan to spend it all, but not right now!

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Last Updated on June 26, 2020

25 Easy Tips on How to Save Money Fast

25 Easy Tips on How to Save Money Fast

“How to save money fast?” This is the question asked by all of us not in the top 1% of rich people.

If you are looking for ways to drastically reduce your expenses immediately, first look at what you need to spend money on every week. And I mean really need.

You don’t really need to order in food. You don’t really need to buy expensive perfume.

Building from that, you can work out how your regular expenses can be reduced.

As for irregular expenses, they can also be deceptively costly in the long run. Once-off buys can also be tackled with some prudent planning and a little extra research.

And remember: a budgeted lifestyle does not mean a bad or boring one!

But first, understand what budget you can cut down on daily:

  • Regular expenses for the average adult (can be trimmed but not eliminated):
    • food
    • rent/mortgage
    • cell phone
    • insurance
    • socializing/entertainment
    • transportation
    • hygiene products
    • household bills
  • Irregular expenses for the average adult (can be eliminated or cut down a lot):
    • travel
    • clothing
    • medication (*depends)
    • grooming (hair, nails etc.)
    • gifts

Now, let’s dive right into the 25 ways to save money fast:

Save Money on Food

1. Bring a stock of food to the office/work

Instead of popping out for an overpriced salad and a smoothie, leave a set of basic utensils at the office as well as a stock of non-perishable goods such as tinned fruit, tuna, rice crackers and so on (try to avoid the junk food and this can turn into a pretty great diet!).

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Stocking up means you won’t forget or say “I didn’t have the time” when you rushed out to work in the morning.

2. Buy the store-brand version

Many basic foods, such as bread and milk, will taste exactly the same as their branded alternatives. Go for stuff with minimal additives and preservatives. Meat in a tube is probably insanely unhealthy!

3. Eat cheaper cuts of meat

Learn how to tenderize and flavour cheaper meat and fish, and save on the (typically) most expensive item on your grocery bill.

4. Have group dinners

If 10 friends put $5 each in the kitty, it’s pretty easy to make a giant lasagne and get refreshments, as well as hang out with your favourite people.

Save Money in Transport

5. Get a bicycle

Save on gas money and bus/metro fares with this underrated mode of transport.

6. Use public transport and/or don’t get taxis

Some places can only be reached by car. But as a good practise, check your public transport website and see if any routes pass nearby where you need to get to. Walk as much as you can.

7. Find the cheapest gas

Regularly check out where the cheapest gas can be bought.

Save Money in General Shopping

8. Shop online

Not only will you save on the gas or transport fares from going to the shopping mall but you will also find better deals

9. Sell your old stuff

Get your unwanted belongings up on eBay ASAP and earn a few dollars.

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Here’re more ideas for you: 25 Things to Sell to Make a Lot of Money

10. Bulk buying stores

For regular non-perishable/slow perishable purchases such as toilet paper, cat food, pasta, washing powder and so on, do an epic stocking-up trip to a co-op or equivalent (my mum used to go to a place that restaurants buy from).

Be wary of supermarket “deals”, as some have been found to be fraudulent after working out a simple calculation.

11. Become a flea market/car boot sale/street market guru

You can find original gifts and develop good negotiation skills at these places.

12. Generic brand medication

More often than not, the generic version of paracetamol and other basics work the same as the branded version.

13. Choose deodorant, not perfume

It blows my mind when someone drops $70 on a bottle of spray. Stick with a nice deodorant, and not only will you smell just fine but you’ll be sweat-free as well!

Cut Down on Household Expenses

14. Printing

Ink is one of the most expensive substances in the office and coloured ink is doubly so. B

e more efficient and choose black and white, and if your printer doesn’t have a print-both-sides options, just print odd pages first, re-insert the paper and print even pages.

Expand the margins of what you are printing as often as you can to save on paper.

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15. Minimize SMS and phone calls

A combination of a free chat service such as WhatsApp and a free call service such as Skype can reduce your bill to nothing (so long as you have a decent Wifi connection).

16. Shop around for insurance

Most people don’t spend enough time searching for the best insurance deal.

Keep a watchful eye out for deals and new competitors in the market.

17. Try re-negotiating your rent/mortgage

If you have built up a good credit history or a good rapport with your landlord, then chances are a frank chat about needing to tighten your spending could result in lowering your payments. You’ve nothing to lose from trying.

18. Don’t get a TV

Invest in a computer/laptop and an internet-only package. You can watch more (and often better) entertainment on the web, and skip the advertisements as well.

19. Pool your internet bill with a neighbour

My apartment building is basically a big old house split into three apartments. There are five of us in total. We pool the internet bill, making it crazy cheap.

Save Money in Socializing, Entertainment And Travel

20. Have house parties

Instead of paying for overpriced drinks, set up a series of in-house get-togethers with your friends. Everyone takes a turn, so it’s not always your house that needs cleaning.

For sound insulation, hang heavy drapes on the walls and windows. For music, invest in a good second-hand set of speakers which you can connect to your computer. Let Spotify or Grooveshark playlists do the rest.

21. Open festivals, meetups and events

It never fails to surprise me how much underground stuff goes on around me for free or for very cheap. Find out who runs the blogs and websites that list all the less well-known cultural activities.

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22. Volunteer

If you can’t pay for a ticket, volunteer and get to be there anyway.

23. Housesit

There are multiple housesitting websites offering you the possibility to avoid paying hotels and skip the discomfort of crummy hostels.

Save Money on Hygiene and Beauty

24. DIY beauty

French manicures, pedicures, waxing, eyebrows… pretty much all of these can be achieved at home (and done well) with some practise. There are plenty excellent blogs and YouTube tutorials to help.

25. Fewer haircuts/volunteer at a trainee hairdresser

If you can’t bear the risk of a trainee touching your locks, learn more ways to manipulate your hair as it grows and get haircuts sparingly. Women’s haircuts are outrageously priced in many cities.

Bonus: Effective Money-Saving Tips for Everything

Here’s a summary of what you can generally do to save more money:

  • Share/pool resources. Organize a neighbourhood sharing scheme, common resources for your apartment block or with your friends. Not everybody needs an individual lawnmower.
  • Buy energy-saving everything. The easiest way to lower your bills – replace those lightbulbs!
  • Buy in bulk. Be sensible about it (i.e. make sure you have space!), and drastically reduce weekly expenditure.
  • DIY. Skill up using YouTube tutorials on plumbing and many other essential services so you never have to pay for simple problems again.
  • Research a lot before making a decision. Most money-wasting is the result of poor preparation and planning. Don’t shirk this part just because you don’t like it!
  • Use your network. Your network is full of resources that can ease the pain of budgeting. Ask for help.
  • Stop and think. Do I really need it?

Unfortunately, there are some things that require plain ol’ giving up for the time being. This can include high-cost sports such as skiing, the latest versions of some technologies, the finest brands of food/drinks, premier seats at the opera and most other indulgences.

What is important to remember during lean times is that when you look back on your life, it will be the experiences that stand out, not the extra comforts.

Living on a budget can teach you a lot about how much you can really get out of your paycheck. We only live one life, so make the most of every penny you earn!

More Tips for Personal Finance Management

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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