Saving money as if you are going to lose your job is a new way of life. Words such as frugal, budget, even thrift stores have new meaning. Unhappy with your job that you have then consider those without a job at all. No driving to work or getting up in the morning. There’s no dressing up for work either or impressing the boss all the time. But living this way comes with a price, a price of living below your means. One you might consider, even if you have a job. After all, everyone is saving for retirement. A saving of $300 or so a month for ten years or so could do a lot for retirement along with 401k and an IRA, so living a frugal life to be able to save for retirement is an added bonus. Money Track, a show I watched from the library DVD collection, said that 7 out of 10 years you will win the market. They also said that over a 20 year span the vitality of the market decreases. So frugalness and time are on your side.
Other than fixed expenses, such as rent, utilities, cable, internet, phone and the like, my biggest expense is food. I have vowed to not put anything of food on my credit card. No restaurants or junk food goes on there. If totally necessary I will buy maybe groceries, but that is an extreme emergency. I have prepared my lunches weeks in advance so all I have to do is just put them in the lunch bag provided. I bring a water bottle so I don’t go spending money on pop. I crock pot my dinners weeks in advance also. I put them in little tv dinner containers and put them in the freezer. So, all I have to do is take out the dinner and put in the microwave. I realize I live alone and can eat whatever I want so this is an extreme advantage. Making a plan and a budget that works best for you is really the way to go.
Writing down a budget lets you know what you have and what you don’t have. Sometimes it even lets you know how you can get what you want to get. It lets you save for retirement, vacations, new car, kids clothes, nights out or whatever else you feel you need. It is your budget and your money. Just socking away a little money at a time can really grow into something special. You’ll know what goes in and what goes out and even where it went. People have all kinds of ways to budget from envelopes, Quicken software, to just writing it down in a special notebook. It’s good to know what you are saving your money for so you don’t get discouraged in the process.
So, just sit down and ask yourself where is my money going? If you need to keep a money diary and write down specifically where the money is going then that’s what you need to do. Try not to go wild just because it is just a journal of where your money is going either. Try to think, “Do I really need to spend my money on this?” Some people have a 30 day rule before buying something. They wait thirty days and that gives them time to think if they really need what they want to buy. You could have a ten second rule before putting the item in the cart to do the same thing if going grocery shopping. Write down fixed expenses and variable expenses for budget. Try the budget, it is a new way of life!