(Last Updated On: February 1, 2018)
Managing money is simple if we start by embracing the principle of discipline, with the knowledge that life is uncertain. Being human carries the gift of being emotional and unless there is the principle of discipline, we will end up buying or withholding our way out of, or into unplanned and unpleasant situations. A feeling of disappointment regarding parental or family relationships may lead us to think “I struggle…no one has left anything for me” so we neglect putting aside something for our children or do effective real estate planning. This mindset is quite common and can disadvantage or rob a generation of financial freedom. Let’s look now at some money saving tips to see how they can help us going forward.
The value of joint and single accounts
Our spousal relationships may be weak and lack trust or the proper understanding of the role of money, so we keep separate accounts even though financially, we are more likely to qualify for shared dreams if we pool our resources.
The joint account allows each person to contribute equally to shared predetermined activities such as;
- general bills
- insurance policies
- children’s expenses
There will be no surprises concerning the predetermined conditions of the joint account being used. This is not to say that you don’t trust each other, but why not make life simpler by automating the process. The upfront agreement simplifies accountability and transparency. Read more about this topic here on Investopedia.
Having said that, I recommend that all couples have a joint and a single account. The single account allows each spouse to have their own financial independence should they need to do anything for themselves or otherwise. It also offers a level of independence and protection from uncertainties. However, this an area that should be discussed and clearly understood and agreed to by both.
The betrayal of impulsive shopping and the emotions
Sometimes you may be feeling a bit under the weather, this is not the time for you to go shopping online or to buy anything immediately. At times like these, you are simply responding to that emotion. Put it in the shopping cart, leave it there. By that time the emotion would have passed and you may reconsider your options. As an added bonus, the item may even be on sale when you are more level-headed and ready to purchase.
Job promotion and salary increase, making the most of it
Yeah! I got promoted, now what?
When you are promoted at work or given an increase and you already have disposable income, save the difference and pay off all high-interest credit, e.g. credit cards.
Pay to the principal and not to the interest of your mortgage.
Ignore the credit hustle. Resist the urge of instant gratification
Each month, keep track of the funds you are saving. Make sure that you avoid the allure of the ads for loans and credit cards. It may feel great to have the additional “buying power” at your fingertips, but the guilt is painfully overwhelming when the monthly bills are due and funds are not available. Resist now enjoy later. Remember, you are not adding to your wealth or increasing your financial worth, but rather, you are incurring additional liability. Use the principle of delayed gratification.
Save first and buy later.
Entertainment tips – Dine at home with class
Avoid the exhilaration of expensive parties, dinners and the like. Within your circle of friends, there will be some who will welcome reciprocity regarding lunch and dinner. In other words, dinner will be by me today and at your home the next. Not only do you save money, but you get to build great relationships while avoiding the expense incurred at some restaurants. The restaurant experience may also be fleeting. So take out that unused fancy dinner-ware in your cabinet and smother each other with “the special treatment.” The fancy treatment practiced at restaurants will mean more in the company of genuine friends and family.
Don’t be a miser and miss out on living
The worst thing is to put “everything” away and struggle month to month. Set aside something for you, your partner and children if they are any.
Teach children the value of money while they are young
Get the children to save towards their next holiday. Teach them the value of money. Let them see the bills and how their behavior can influence what you pay each month. A good example is with electricity and water consumption. Help them help you change bad habits like leaving things on unnecessarily such as lights, fans, surge protectors and even video games etc. If you have multiple televisions, make family time around things you can all enjoy.
An interesting activity would be to have them compare bills after two months or more, to see how their actions resulted in savings. A great opportunity for a life-lesson here on money saving tips that will last a lifetime certainly.
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Family budgeting ideas that are fun
You can save a few dollars each week if you plant your own vegetables or if you barter… and instead of buying sodas, canned drinks and juices, why not make lemonade with lemons from your own or trees. No trees? Then gather fruits from extended family and friends or buy cheaply. This not only saves money and helps the entire family during hard times, but it is also a healthier option.
Cooking, baking and experimenting with local recipes can also add a variety of vital culinary skills, which are bound to come in handy in the future.
Money is a tool, not a goal, use it correctly
Most of all, understand money is a tool and like anything else, a tool used unwisely can destroy or maim, however, once done correctly, it can make the heavy lifting way much easier. Most of us see money as a goal. This mindset creates the wrong perspective and causes us to panic when we can’t meet our obligations. We can miss critical lessons in using money to our advantage by not employing proven methods to gain wealth. If we see it as a goal, we may spend our whole life pursuing it but not effectively be investing it, and enjoying the potential benefits it can add to the various stages of our lives.
Discuss ways you can use money to work for you with each other.
There is no better feeling of satisfaction and fulfillment than helping those less fortunate. There will always be persons in need for one reason or another. This is not to say that you should allow yourselves to be taken advantage of. However, when you give, do it from a place of sincerity and not suspicion. That’s the purest form of giving that guarantees a reward.
There is a powerful biblical principle of giving employed by many. It resembles an oxymoron but it has worked for many. In a nutshell, you give a percentage of your income to reap a harvest over time. This can also be a freewill gift as well and not a necessarily the traditional 10%. This principle is still used and is practiced by individuals and companies.
Many rich people believe in that there are many rewards in giving. Colonel Sanders of KFC, William Colgate of Colgate-Palmolive, James L. Kraft of Kraft Foods and Henry John Heinz of Heinz Ketchup are just a few famous businessmen who have given consistently from their income, using this principle.
John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, and countless others throughout history have also practiced giving away sometimes up to half their personal wealth, to charity.
Giving of your time and talent
There are various ways to give. It doesn’t have to be financial. Please consider some ways in which you can give.
- Geriatric Hospitals
- Musical renditions
- Visiting to chat
- Children’s homes and charities
- Helping with homework
- Building maintenance
- Community engagement
- Landscaping or/and running errands for the elderly or disabled
- Sporting activities with the youth
- Prison visitation/ministry
Work on your own list but remember whatever you do, please do it from a pure heart. The reward will be a great life-lesson and experience for you.
I hope you have enjoyed these tips to financial and general well-being.
We want to hear from you so let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Luke 6:38