Most of us know the benefits of not spending every penny we make. We grew up hearing about the benefits of saving and pinching pennies. I have memories of being lectured by my dad when I was like 7 or 8. This is why kids have piggy banks. But then we start earning allowances and a few years later getting jobs. As we start earning more we then feel entitled to spend it. Most of us don’t feel that “entitlement” to pinching pennies and saving for the future. Some say they owe it to themselves to spend that hard earned money on fun and possessions. What about their obligation to their own financial future? Is nothing owed there?
It will be hard initially to start pinching pennies but once you start it will have a snow ball effect into all your financial decisions.
Manage Your Finances
Managing finances begins with tracking your income and expenses. If you understand where your money is going, then you have a better idea of where you need to make changes.
While there are many tools available to help you manage your finances, I personally like to use Mint.com. Mint is a free online tool that helps track and analyze your financial accounts, from savings and checking to investments. Like many other financial planning tools, you can create a budget and track bills with Mint, but it also helps identify opportunities to save money based on your own personal situation. And it’s completely safe and secure.
In addition to managing your money, finding ways to save on the things you already buy is another step toward financial stability. This can be as small as replacing that morning latte with a less expensive cup of coffee, or as big as forgoing the option to trade in your car for two more years. It would be a mistake to think that it’s only big expenses that need to be cut back on. All those little expenses are exactly where you need to focus on and start pinching pennies.
Using coupons is one tried and true way to save, but it goes beyond clipping the Sunday paper. Whenever you purchase something, from a dinner out to a new television, a quick search online for coupons or discount codes will pay off more than you realize.
Other ways to reduce expenses include shopping around for better insurance and credit card rates, shopping online, and negotiating with providers for special rates on services like cable, internet and telephone.
Reducing waste is another great way to save money. Reducing the amount of waste that goes into landfills not only helps the environment but also our finances. There are many items you can recycle which put extra cash into your wallet, including paper, plastic, aluminum, and glass.
Shopping at thrift stores is also a good way to save money and reduce waste since you can find many items in good condition for a fraction of the cost of buying them new.
Start Pinching Pennies Today…
These lessons apply to everyone regardless of your income. I’ve heard fascinating stories of billionaires living like middle class and pinching pennies. And many sad stories of middle class living like they’re billionaires. Some of the fault in our recession and poor economy lies with poor personal financial management. Living on credit like the debt collector will never come knocking. Buying new possessions that depreciate before you get it loaded into your car and to your home. So get educated and get saving. All men should consider improving how they’re managing their finances and start pinching pennies. Work smart, not harder.