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Unexpected Ways to Save Money

Unexpected Ways to Save Money
    CC Image courtesy of Treehugger on Flickr

    If you’re like me, there isn’t one giant, glaring unnecessary expense in your budget that you can simply eliminate and save big bucks each month. Rather, saving money comes from chipping away at lower dollar amounts that have managed to increase over time. Admittedly, it’s much less satisfying to dock yourself $10 for eating out here or $20 for groceries there in order to save money. However, for many of us these types of adjustments are a necessary part of making sure you’re living within your means and saving the most you can, considering your income and expenses. Here are a few areas a lot of people over look, and ways to cut back that you may not have thought about.

    Check your autopayments

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    No, not the payments you make on your car (though you SHOULD be checking those, and re-evaluating your need for a new car, but that’s a whole other post!). Check your bank account for recurring withdrawals that you may have forgotten about. Maybe you signed up for a magazine that you don’t read, or maybe you have a computer backup system you’re paying for when you could be utilizing a free version. Go through your online statements and look for these types of debits. Generally they’re not much – maybe $5-10 – and by themselves wouldn’t seem worth the hassle of investigating. But if you have a few such expenses, you could knock of upwards of $50 from your monthly spending.

    Government Services

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    Utilize free resources. Why buy books when you can use the library? Even if you’re an e-reader person there’s a pilot program with the New York Public Library allowing books to be “checked out” to e-readers, and many classics are available for free on devices like the Kindle. If you’re starting a business or need help finding housing there are often resources in your city or county available to you for free. In terms of entertainment, find out when free concerts are being offered, or free museum days. Almost all cities have programs such as these which help residents experience the area without doling out much cash, if any. Your taxes support these endeavors, so might as well take advantage! 

    Gym Memberships

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    It’s obvious that if you’re not using your gym, you should cancel your membership. But even if you are, there are often cheaper ways to get a similar workout. The YMCA usually has inexpensive memberships with reduced rates for students, and some operate on a sliding scale depending on income. Watch for promotions, too. Gyms will sometimes greatly reduce your payments if you pay for a month or a year at a time. And there’s always the home workout option – check out the myriad of fitness apps and podcasts which will make you sweat but are cheap or free.

    With a little bit of creativity, you can get a handle on expenses that can add up to big savings!

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    Last Updated on January 21, 2020

    How to Develop a Millionaire Mindset in 6 Simple Steps

    How to Develop a Millionaire Mindset in 6 Simple Steps

    We all like to dream about being financially wealthy. For most people though, it remains a dream and nothing more. Why is that?

    It’s because most people don’t set their mind to achieving that goal. They might not be happy in their current situation but they’re comfortable – and comfort is one of the biggest enemies of growth.

    How do you go about developing that millionaire mindset? By following these simple steps:

    1. Focus On What You Want – And Take It!

    So many people are too timid to admit they want something and go for it. When there is something that you want to accomplish don’t think “I could never actually do that”, think “I could do that and I WILL do that”.

    Millionaires play to win, not to avoid defeat.

    This doesn’t mean to have to become a selfish jerk. What it means is becoming more assertive and honest with yourself. You don’t have to grab off other people. There is a big pot of unclaimed gold in the middle of the table — why shouldn’t you be the one to claim it? You deserve it!

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    2. Become Goal-Orientated

    It’s almost impossible to achieve anything if you don’t set firm goals. Only lottery winners become millionaires overnight. By setting yourself attainable goals, you will get there eventually. Don’t try to get rich quickly — get rich slowly.

    Let’s take the idea of making your first million dollars and expand on what kind of goals you might set to get there. Let’s also say you’re starting at a break-even position – you’re making enough to get by with a few luxuries, but nothing more.

    Your goal for the first year can be having $10,000 in the bank within a year. It won’t be easy but it is doable. Next, you need to figure out the steps you need to take to achieve that goal.

    Always look at ways to make growth before cutbacks. With that in mind, you might want to see if you can negotiate a pay rise with your boss, or if there’s another job out there that will pay better. You might be comfortable in your old job but remember, comfort stunts growth.

    You may also have other skills outside of your workplace that you can monetize to boost your bank balance. Maybe you can design websites for people, at a fee of course, or make alterations to clothes.

    If this is still not enough to make the money you need to save $10,000 in a year, then it’s time to look at cutbacks. Do you have a bunch of old junk that someone else might love? Sell it! Do you really need to spend $10 on your lunch everyday when you could make your own for a fraction of the cost?

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    If you are to become a millionaire, you need to start accumulating money.

    Here’re some tips to help you: How to Become Goal Oriented and Achieve More in Life

    3. Don’t Spend Your Money – Invest It

    The reason you need to accumulate money is for step three. Millionaires tend to be frugal people, and that’s because they know the true value of money is in investing. Being your own boss goes hand-in-hand with becoming a millionaire. You’ll want to quit your regular job at some point.

    Stop working for your money and make your money work for you.

    Rather than buying yourself a new iPad, that $500 could be used to invest in the stock market. Find the right shares (more on that later), and that money could easily double within a year.

    There’s not just the stock market — there’s also property, and your own education.

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    4. Never Stop Learning

    The best thing you can invest in is yourself.

    Once most people leave the education system, they think their learning days are over. Well theirs might be, but yours shouldn’t be. Successful people continually learn and adapt.

    Billionaire Warren Buffet estimates that he read at least 100 books on investing before he turned twenty. Most people never read another book after they’ve left school. Who would you rather be?

    Learn everything you can about how economics works, how the stocks markets work, how they trend.

    Learn new skills. If you have an interest in it, learn everything you can about it. You’d be surprised at how often, seemingly useless skills, can become extremely useful in the right situation.

    Start developing the habit of learning continuously: How to Create a Habit of Continuous Learning for a Better You

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    5. Think Big

    While I advise to start off with small goals, you absolutely should have a big goal in mind. If you have a business idea, then that is your ultimate goal – to start that business and make a success of it. If you want to invest your way to millions of dollars and do little work other than research, then that is your big goal.

    There is no shame in not achieving a big goal. If you run a business and aim to make $1 million profit in a year and “only” make $200,000, then you’re still significantly ahead of most people.

    Aim for the stars, if you fail you’ll still be over the moon.

    6. Enjoy the Attention

    To be successful, you have to be willing to promote yourself and enjoy the attention to a certain extent. Now the attention doesn’t need to be on yourself, it could be on your brand, but attention definitely attracts money.

    Never be embarrassed to get your name out there. That means finding a spotlight and being brave enough to step right up underneath it.

    If you run a business, try contacting the local papers. You’d be surprised at how amenable they often are to running a story about you and your business, and it’s all free publicity.

    Above all, remember: You control your own destiny. Push hard enough for anything and you’ll get it.

    More About Thinking Smart

    Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

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