You are no doubt being told continually to save money, especially if you are somewhat of a spendthrift. A good way of doing this is to open an online savings account and start making regular contributions. This will not be the end of things however, as having a savings account doesn’t do you any good if you continuously delve into it to pay everyday living expenses. This means once you have opened your online savings account, you must leave it alone for it to work. The only way of doing this to have a separate account, such as a checking account or another savings account, for everyday use.
How to start saving money
You will need to draw up a budget and after you have determined how much it will cost you to live each week, month or fortnight (whatever it is between pay days) put that amount into your daily living account and anything left over into the online savings account that you never touch, unless it is for an emergency or the purpose that you originally set it up.
Some people find they can save money easily, others find it a struggle, whichever group you fall into you must make certain that saving money doesn’t make you a miserable person to be around. At the same time you don’t want your life to fly by in a whirl of debt without you being able to enjoy any experiences.
Therefore, when deciding the amount to deposit into your online savings account choose an amount which will ensure you are financially secure, without having to give up on important life experiences.
9 Ways NOT to Save Money
Following are nine quite effective ways to save money when done in moderation, but if you take any of these tips too far, you will find saving money a miserable experience:
1. All Work and No Play. If you find you are only living for your work, something is wrong, seriously wrong. You rise in the morning, go off to work, come home and watch TV until ready for bed. This is not what life was meant to be like. Sure, you will save money, lots of it, but are you really living? An important part of life is interacting with others, sharing experiences, seeing and doing new things so get off the couch, go for a stroll and stop off at the cafe for a coffee, whenever you feel like it.
2. Shirking Your Responsibilities. When drinking with friends do you excuse yourself to go to the bathroom when your shout comes around? Do you make the excuse that you must go now and make a hurried exit as your turn get closer? Do you let your date pay for her own meal when you take her out for dinner? Don’t pay your share of the pooled transport costs when you travel to work with friends in someone-else’s car. If this is you, it won’t be long before you become known as a cheap-skate. Once again it is a sure fire way of saving money but you’ll probably save yourself from having any friends to worry about too.
3. Becoming Obsessed With Getting Good Deals. This happens when collecting coupons for great deals becomes a passion. You soon find you are purchasing things a half price or lower just to save money but many of these things are not what you really need. Just items that you felt you must have because you saw yourself as saving money.
4. Chasing That Elusive Lottery. You buy your lottery ticket and wait eagerly for the result as you believe you have the winning number. You have even worked out how you will spend it, in your head. Then comes the inevitable disappointment. Your life can become involved in chasing lotteries. Sure if you win it will be worth many years of frugal savings, but have you ever considered the odds. Your savings habit could soon be lost to chasing a dream that will never eventuate for the majority.
5. Gambling. Sitting in front of a poker machine for hours. You have already won a considerable amount but have gone through it all trying to make more. It is your savings you are using here and eventually you will even gamble more than that. It is a no win situation you have found yourself in, and you can only end up feeling miserable and broke.
6. Fast Food Addict. There is no argument that fast food is cheaper than eating out at a good restaurant. Often cheaper than what you could knock up yourself. However, it is actually false savings as this too can become addictive and could be adversely affecting your health at the same time – something that may be quite expensive to remedy in the future.
7. Buying in Bulk. Have you noticed that when you see an item for sale you can often buy cheaper if you buy in bulk. This is a sales gimmick. Sure the individual item will be cheaper when you buy in bulk, but you have actually spent more in order to get the bargain. Such purchasing will often load you up with products that you wouldn’t have bought otherwise.
8. Not Buying Quality. You find you need another car. The old one has gone past its use-by date so you visit a few car yards to see what’s available. Two cars of the same make and model take your eye. One has done 200,000 miles, the other 100,000. One has been religiously serviced its whole life the other has no service book in the glove-box. The more neglected car with the extra miles is several thousand dollars cheaper, so you grab the bargain while you can. Six months later the gearbox crashes and it costs you more than you saved to have it fixed and you’re miserable again catching the bus to work until you can afford to have it repaired.
9. Relying on Debt. If you plan your financial life responsibly right from the start you will stay out of any serious debt. Once you get into debt it can take many miserable years to become financially free again. By putting some of your earnings in an online savings account regularly you will be building up a financial cushion that you can fall back on to pay for things such as car repairs and other emergencies. Such extra costs can come about at any time without warning.
Live your life responsibly but never mistake the obsessive saving of money for savings sake as a magic way to find happiness. Financial happiness comes from using your online savings account as a means to save money that would otherwise be wasted. Not just a means to get rich.