"Saving is a bore," many say. "Buying clothes, electronic gadgets, and such things is fun."
Whether you have been affected by the decline in the world's economy or not, you can benefit from considering ways you can save as well as ways you can spend wisely.
How You Can Save
First, before buying an expensive item, consider whether it is really necessary.
Second, if you need something, search for a new items that are on sale or for good used items
Third, don't be impulsive; sleep on the matter. If you still feel that the item is vital, you may consider looking for something similar in a discount or secondhand shop. Also, you can often save money if you do not feel compelled to buy popular name brands. Further, rather than buy the latest styles of children's clothes at expensive stores, why not use hand-me-downs?
Similarly, a new mother may consider using cloth diapers that can be washed. The book Budgeting-Personal Spending and Money Management a Key to Weathering the Storm, by Denise Chambers, states: "Disposable diapers will cost you about $2000 or more for 2 years. Cloth diapers...$300-5000 over those same 2 years." She added: "Modern cloth diapers are so much easier to use and you'll benefit the planet too!"
Fourth, consider that it usually costs less to buy ingredients and cook meals than it does to eat out. If you have school-age children, why not teach them to prepare sandwiches instead of giving them money to buy more expensive food? And rather than buying expensive beverages, drink water instead. It is much healthier and easier on your pocketbook.
Not long ago families had their own vegetable gardens. Have you considered growing some of your own food? Many, including those living in apartments or small houses, have an area they can use for gardening. You may be amazed at how much food a person can grow in a limited amount of soil!
Consider further: If you need to have a cell phone, can you use it for emergencies only and pay in advance for a limited amount of calling time? Or if you have a clothes dryer, have you thought about limiting its use? Perhaps you can hang some of your wash-or, at times, even all of it-on a clothesline. You might also be able to limit your use of air conditioners and heaters. Before switching on such devices, ask yourself, 'Is the weather really that extreme?' You might also talk to others to learn how they limit the use of electricity.
Whatever the case, be modest and realistic about what you buy, and make your decisions carefully. Being a carefree spender can become addictive and can lead to heartache. So work on being a cautious and prudent spender, which can put you in a position to enjoy lasting happiness.