Have you just perused your bank statements, and decided that thrift is the order of the day? Or, have you set yourself a goal: a target such as an overseas holiday, a wedding, renovations or whatever?
Whatever your answer, it’s always a good idea to have something put aside for a rainy day, or as a storehouse for a worthwhile treat. But it’s often hard to summon the discipline needed to save.
Everyone is different, so everyone needs to carry out their own financial analysis and determine where savings are possible, and feasible, without sacrificing too much quality of life. After all, one can live a spartan existence, but if it makes you miserable, then, what’s the point?
To be worthwhile, saving needs to carefully thought through, to strike the right balance between cost-cutting and lifestyle sacrifice.
Maybe you eat out a lot, and this can be quite a drain on finances. If time is at a premium, the answer may be to prepare some meals such as casseroles that freeze well when you’re at leisure, and just re-heat them for a quick, easy dinner when you’re at home.
Another big area for saving is clothes. Never buy more than you need for a season or two, since fashions can change quickly, and so can your size. What’s more depressing than a bulging wardrobe full of expensive items you no longer want? A massive credit-card bill?
Outings, too, can be accommodated to fit your savings goals. Consider the cost of, say, a picnic in the park or a day at the beach compared to that of hours spent in an amusement park.
Consider, too, the cost per year of all the little things that you do. Three or four or five dollars might not seem much, but multiply it by a hundred or so and it really matters.
Effective savings is really a way of thinking and assessing your wants and needs against your commitments and longer-term goals. Determining the balance and the ways of achieving success is just the first part. Commitment and determination is the cornerstone.