Building real wealth requires you to earn a good salary and to stash your money in places where it will earn interest and beat inflation. But there is, of course, a middle step here: If you’re going to put your hard-earned money into high-interest opportunities, then you can’t be spending that same money on other things.
And this is a real problem for some of us. No matter how much you make, it is possible to spend so much that you’re living paycheck-to-paycheck and save virtually nothing. Some high-income individuals do just this, choosing a lavish lifestyle over long-term savings. That’s a big mistake, but it’s one that’s all too easy to make — which is why we’re here with some tips for reigning in your spending. Here are five ways to eliminate wasteful spending.
1. Stick to a Personal Budget
The simplest and broadest advice for spending less is perhaps the least exciting, but it is also certainly the most important. Like it or not, the best way to stop spending so much is to make a personal budget, and stick to it.
To make a budget, you’ll need to determine how much money you bring in, how much you’ll have to spend on essential expenses (like rent or a mortgage), and how much you can trim back non-essential expenditures (like dinners out or beers at the bar). Be tough, but be realistic, too, and stick to that budget.
2. Fix It, Don’t Toss It!
Our “throwaway society” is a wasteful thing. When we toss old products and buy new ones, we hurt the environment as well as our own personal budgets. That’s why it helps to be more mindful of the things that we buy, especially the most expensive ones, and to fix things up when possible instead of throwing them out.
Take your smartphone, for instance. An iPhone 8 screen replacement is a whole lot cheaper than an iPhone XS, and choosing to wait a little longer before your next phone upgrade could give you time to save up for a more vital purchase or stash more cash away for retirement. So hit up your local repair shop, and stop spending so much on replacement products.
3. Buy It For Life
Much of what we buy today is designed not to last. We grab cheap stuff because it’s cheap, and then we don’t think twice about replacing it instead of repairing it for the same reason. If you try to buy things that will last a lifetime, though, you’ll find that you spend more to buy each product but that you save money by rarely having to buy things twice. Focus on quality when you buy important, pricey, and permanent things like furniture or boots, and you’ll find yourself actually saving money in the long run.
4. Take Extra Care With Large Purchases
The pricier a purchase, the more opportunity for waste. That’s why you really need to do your research when you buy a big-ticket item like a car, explain the experts at a Kia dealership in Groton, CT. Knowing your stuff will help you choose the right car for you, and it will also help the dealership salesperson connect you with a car that makes sense. Plus, research will help protect you from shady sellers and vehicles that make poor investments.
5. Use Cash More Often
Little expenses can lead to big waste, too, of course. That’s part of why you may want to start carrying cash around instead of using your credit card so often. Experts say that we’re more inclined to spend money when cash isn’t being physically handed over, which means that every time you swipe your credit card, you’re making a purchase that you might have avoided if you’d been carrying cash instead. This isn’t a cure-all, of course, but it’s another great way to avoid wasteful spending.
No matter how much you bring in per week, month, or year, you can definitely put some of your paycheck into savings. Consider these tips to help you spend less and save money.