5 Habits of Savers
We all know someone who has a good handle on their finances with a modest income. Their way of life was learned and can be taught. You, too, can live a lifestyle of saving! Read on for easy habits savers share on how they became financially responsible.
Live Below Your Means
Research has shown that only 40% of Americans are spending less than their income. That means 60% of people are spending at least their full income- and often more. Ditch the credit cards. If you don’t have an emergency fund and having access to a credit card is necessary, consider leaving it at home or freezing it in a tub of water. If there really is an emergency your credit cards will be inconvenient and take some time to access, which will help you reassess the urgency.
Make it Mindless
Good savers make saving a number one priority, and they make it habitual. They set up an automatic transfer each payday of at least 10% of earnings deposited to a separate account. Some savers even transfer the money to another bank entirely so it’s out of sight and out of mind. This way, they subconsciously consider it their safety net and dip into it. If you never even see it, you won’t ever miss it. If you’re interested in more tips to live below your means, Jeanne Lee writes a great article that can be found here.
24 Hour Wait
There will always be things that you want. Keep a running list of items that you’d like to buy when you see it at the store. Wait twenty-four hours, then look back on your list and decide if you still want it. Often, the urge to buy has passed just by waiting a day. This tip can dramatically decrease your impulse purchases.
Make Do, Do Without
Try this: Write down what you value in life. Then look closely at your last few financial statements. Do your purchases match your values? “There are usually many things we could go without, but we buy them without even thinking,” says Jared Paul, a certified financial planner in Latham, New York. You likely have everything you need already.
Quality over Quantity
If you decide you need to invest in something, consider it just that- an investment. Do your homework and once you’ve researched to make the right choice, commit wholeheartedly. It’s now an asset that will last you many years more than a shoddy, cheaper gadget. Savers skimp on less important purchases so that they can invest in higher quality items later.
Savers don’t have everything, but they do have a plan to someday get it! The goal of saving is security. No matter what your income, you can be a saver. If you are living outside your means, find ways to pay off your debts and cut expenses. Get your plan in order, know your values, and prioritize where you spend your money. You’ll be glad you did.