My philosophy is “The best way to make money is not to spend the money you have”. This concept seems a little difficult for some to understand, at least in my own immediate family. When I try to explain this concept to them I get blank stares or looks of total confusion. I firmly believe though once you grasp this fundamental concept you can be on your way to financial Independence and Freedom. Notice I did not use terms such as “Millionaire” , “Rich”, “Wealthy” and similar terms or phrases because that is not what my objectives are. The objective is to accumulate a sufficient amount of investments so that it provides you with a very comfortable income stream and is continually growing in size. Of course there is usually many ways of accomplishing goals and objectives but one area that I believe most people seem to ignore is also what I believe on of the most simple ways. Not spending you money in the first place! In this article I am trying to give you ideas of how not to spend your money. When you don’t spend it you have more to invest and you can produce more income for yourself. In a previous article I explained how much money each $1,000 dollars would produce in potential future income.
So with the mindset of not spending money let’s see some potential ways to achieve our goals.
Areas to Save Money ( Apply the Golden Rule of Investing)
- Alcohol – Drinking alcohol can cost you in many ways but just the basic cost is worth avoiding it. If you must drink, then try to buy it yourself and mix your own drinks, you will save 90% of the cost. Easily save $500 per year.
- Cigarettes – I will not lecture anyone here but just pointing out not only are you hurting your health but you are hurting your future income. I was surprised to learn of cigarettes going for $5.00 a pack. If you smoke a pack a day that’s about $2,000 a year to invest.
- Fancy Coffee – Did you realize you can make your own coffee at home for about $8 per month versus $120 – $150 per month for the coffee bar brands? Add on another $1,400 in savings !
- Expensive Vacations – Vacations are important in my opinion but you should look at ways of vacationing that is more affordable. Instead a $5,000 vacation look for ways to cut it in half – Another $2,500 to invest !
- Prestigious Automobiles – Do you really have to have an expensive or prestigious automobile? In today’s market there is little difference in the quality of cars. What you are really paying for is the honor of sporting a name. Is driving that name brand vehicle really worth the cost of your future income? I would say that only you can answer that question but for me, the answer is a resounding no! Purchase a car with a monthly payment of $300 per month versus $ 600 per month and you will have another $3,600 to invest !
- Expensive Makeup – I’m certainly no expert on makeup but I have noticed that some of the department store makeup is 10 times the cost of the makeup in other stores. I have yet to see a pretty woman and say to myself “I bet she is wearing the more expensive makeup”. In other words ladies – I don’t believe men know the difference! Let’s cut back $20 per month for a yearly savings of $240
- Expensive hair-styling – A haircut is a haircut – Why pay more for a product? Is a $100 haircut really better than a $`15 haircut? Probably not. Even at two cuts per year – $170 saved !
- Fast Food and Expensive Restaurants – Eat out less often and you can easily save $50 per week which amounts to $2,500 per year saved.
- Telephone – Why pay $ 800 for the privilege of owning an I-phone when you can get a nice phone free instead? Saving $800 would pay you $128 per month in retirement! $800 saved.
- Cable TV – I remember when they first introduced cable TV – It was billed as Ad free – Not so much any longer, now you are paying to watch ads. Out of thirty minutes of programming they are squeezing in as much as 15 minutes of advertising! All trying to talk you into spending money on things you don’t need. Dumping cable could add as much as $16 per month in retirement income each month! $1,800
- Designer Clothes and Shoes, Accessories. Many people justify the exuberant prices by saying that they represent higher quality – but in most cases, they don’t! You are paying for the “privilege” of sporting a popular name. The amount saved here varies widely with each individual but I know most could save $500 here and not even notice it.
- Designer Bottled Water – Did you realize in many cases you are paying 3 times or more for water than gasoline? – Insanity! easily save $260 per year!
These are just a few of many possible areas to cut back or eliminate spending but it amounts to over $16,000 per year in savings ! This could be a big boost to your Income Portfolio !
The point I am trying to make here is that there are plenty of ways that we waste money that we could be investing for our future. Just by eliminating a couple of items from above could put you well on your way to investing for a more than comfortable retirement! Take a moment and read them again. Now decide which ones you can eliminate and make a pledge to yourself to start investing that money each month instead. Your future self will be eternally grateful that you did!
You may also want to go back to review even necessary items like home and car insurance. I recently reviewed my own Home Owners policy and car Insurance policy. I found that they had slowly crept up in price over the years and after some investigation and a couple of quotes I was able to reduce my homeowners policy by $600 per year and my car insurance by $400 per year for a total sayings of $1,000 per year ! Amazing is the fact that I did not give up a single thing to save this money except for a few moments of my time. It didn’t take one thing away from my lifestyle and certainly my friends could care less about what insurance company I have. I would recommend you make this part of an annual review of your expenses so that you can be sure you are not overpaying.
The choice is yours alone – I can’t talk you into making wise choices; only you can do that for yourself. Decide now to make this philosophy part of your life. Take action now for your future self, for your children and for your family.
If you do decide to take action on making cuts to your everyday expenses please consider:
- Keep a diary and write down every penny you spend for a couple of months to become aware of just where you are spending ( Especially pay attention to the discretionary spending)
- Set a goal – (IE I will cut $200 per month in spending)
- Take action at cutting expenses
- Dedicate those savings to your Investing account
- Review your spending on a periodic basis – say annually in the same month every year so you remember – A suggestion is to perform the review each year when you do your taxes.
My message – It is easier to not spend money than it is to save money.
have your own ways to save money ? How about sharing them with us. We love to hear your comments !