One Small Step for You, One Giant Step for Your Money
No matter where you are in your path to fixing or improving your financial situation, there is always more you can do and it doesn’t have to be a lot. The journey to financial stability starts with one small step. And once you’ve made that one small step, then you’re ready to make another.
Sometimes there are choices to do one thing that pays off in multiple ways. That’s a nice return on your investment. Here are a few ideas. Pick one, make it a habit and then look for another new habit to incorporate.
Buy one less thing. Over the years you might be in the habit of buying a magazine at the check stand, lunch in the middle of the workday and perhaps another coffee or some other mid-afternoon nourishment. Think of something, just one thing that you buy that you could either get for cheaper, make yourself or replace with something free. If you’re eating out for lunch every day, pick one day a week when you will bring lunch instead. It’s a small step that will make a difference in your wallet and make you more conscious about your spending.
List what you need to buy. This is worth repeating. So we do. A lot. If you need food, make a list. Then shop and stick to the list. If you don’t, you will be tempted to buy whatever sounds good in the moment. And when there is no plan nearly everything sounds like it might be good. One client we have was able to reduce their monthly grocery costs by $400 a month, simply by using a list and avoiding quick trips to the grocery store to buy things like eggs, milk and bread.
Walk. Maybe you’ll just do this once a week, but ideally you will find a way to do this once a day. In particular, choose to walk in at least one instance when you would be justified in driving. Do you take the car when you drop your child off at school? Could you walk once in a while instead? You will save money, get exercise and not throw auto exhaust into the air which benefits everyone.
Pay more than the minimum. Take one credit card bill and pay more than you are required to. Do that every month with the same bill until it’s gone. Then apply what you used to pay to that bill to another one.
Sleep on it. Are you considering a significant purchase? Walk away from the store or the Internet and allow yourself to sleep on it overnight. If you still buy it the next day, chances are it’s something you really needed. You might find, however, that once the initial excitement wears off you decide you no longer need what you thought you did.
There are many ways to make little changes that have the benefit of offering rewards. The more you get in the habit, the better your financial picture will look. To learn more, get help with your budget and find ways to reduce your debt, contact a certified credit counselor at American Financial Solutions. Find your financial peace of mind.
Published Jun 18, 2014.