2010 is just another year. However, with the power of selective information and a little effort, 2010 can be the year that you start saving some serious money, and let it accumulate for many, many years to come (or spend it on the world-wide dream vacation).
I wrote about paying off debt hardcore style last week. Today I wanted to write about how you could save some SERIOUS money this year and for the rest of your life.
Focus your savings.
Saying you will save money in every area of your life is like saying you will never eat junk food again. It’s not true and you will be extremely disappointed with yourself when this doesn’t work out. Your aim as a smart, hard working, and good looking 20-something should be to target your financial problem areas.
How do you find your financial problem areas? If you enjoy playing the guitar and consciously spend money on guitar parts then it’s not a problem area. If you eat out every single meal and never feel full of energy or fully satisfied, then your food bill is a financial issue for you.
Stop feeling guilt/remorse.
Stop feeling guilty about everything. Guilt is a horrible feeling with no benefits whatsoever. Make decisions and stick by them. You’re not a kid anymore. You’re responsible for everything that you do. If you want to buy new shoes then buy them. Don’t cry about it for the next few days while vowing to never buy shoes again.
Your goal should be to make conscious decisions to spend money that you HAVE on things that you love without feeling guilty after.
Do I feel bad when I travel? Hell no.
Do I feel bad when I buy $7 drinks at a club? Yes.
Whats the difference? One thing brings immense pleasure to my life (traveling). The other is a slap in the face in my opinion.
Save money where it counts most.
Of course you need to grasp your everyday savings. But you’ll never kill all of your debt if you don’t make HUGE ASS changes.
Buying the cheapest brand of fuel will save you some money. Selling your car and taking the bus to work or cycling will save you a boatload of money.
Spending money to upgrade your skills will hurt you financially today, but it’ll boost your income generating ability tomorrow. This is technically a major money saving technique.
You get the point? Grasp everyday frugality but make sure that you save money where it matters the most.
Run the numbers instead of listening to everyone.
Being in credit card debt sucks. I ran a scary calculation on credit card debt reduction which revealed how long it would take to pay off $1,000 while making the minimum payments (hint: it REALLY sucks).
Sit down, figure out how much money you owe, figure out how much money you have coming in, and do the math from there. Once you figure out how much money you can put towards credit card debt elimination you’ll see where you can improve your financial situation.
Stop listening to clever anecdotes sometimes and get a hold of reality. I love my motivational quotes more than anybody else out there but we all need to get real once in a while. This involves a calculator and occasionally an Excel spreadsheet. It may be boring for a few minutes but it gets the job done.
Are you ready to save some serious money in 2010?
(In case you haven’t noticed, I recently read The 4-hour Work Week, I Will Teach You To Be Rich, and Career Renegade, so my perspective is slowly changing.)