Make Your Life Easier – Save Painlessly
There’s a conflict right there, at first glance — how can saving make your life easier if it means, as it always does, giving up something that you most probably like? The answer is simple: saving makes your life easier because you’ll have one less thing to worry about, and that is piling up debt. It’s a cruel world we live in, a post-crisis world that has forced many of us to rethink what they spend their money on and how they can keep out of debt. The Internet is full of practical advice on the subject but it all basically boils down to one thing and that’s changing your habits, at least to some extent, at least some of them.
Unless you’re in a really tough financial situation that requires real sacrifice and counting every cent, cutting your spend is a relatively painless thing to do. It takes just a slight change of perspective. To illustrate, you may be used to dining out or ordering takeout most nights of the week, but as you probably know this is not the cheapest way to eat. It won’t hurt too much if you start cooking half the time, will it? Even those who find cooking a tiresome, boring and dirty job, could be persuaded to try something new — don’t you like a bit of challenge? You see, it’s not so hard to take a look at things from a slightly different angle. If you’re very fashion-conscious and can’t go a whole season without filling your wardrobe with new stuff, you don’t need to give that up completely, just reduce the number of things you buy. You must know you’ll never be able to buy ALL that you want, don’t you? So, just try to be happy with two new dresses instead of five and one new pair of boots instead of three.
Advice that is oftentimes repeated in all sorts of lists on how to save is using more cash than credit cards. That may be a slight inconvenience as most of us are so used to having their card at the ready, but the word to remember is slight. You weren’t born with a credit card in your hand, and it’s not a life essential, regardless of whether you believe it to be. The thing about credit cards is that they’re convenient, so convenient that they make it very hard to resist a shopping temptation even though you clearly know you can’t afford one more. And, of course, they take so much less space than cash. The thing about cash, however, is that it’s finite at any given moment. You can only shop for the sum you have on hand (that is, if you forget all sorts of cards, not just the credit ones). It could be fun to experiment for a day or two, or even an hour or two during a shopping tour and see how it goes without cards. You might make yourself proud, who knows.
The thing is, it’s really not that difficult to save some money every month, be it by diverting a certain percentage of your paycheck to a separate account that you have no access to regularly, or by doing one of the things listed above. It’s the thought that’s scary for us, the people of the developed world who are used to having what we want and when we want it, even at a steep price, to be paid later. That’s why it requires a change of perspective — there’s always a price to pay, so why not look at some alternatives and choose the one that suits you best? If fighting with a regular overdraft is more acceptable for you, then by all means, don’t change a thing. If, however, you like the thought of having no debt or doing something to reduce the amount you have, gather your strength and give up pizza Tuesday and Friday night on the town, at least twice a month, to start with.