Creative Advice for Babes on a Budget:
The Art of Saving and Conserving Money – Living a Life Not of Lack, But Rich in Spirit
By SUSAN B. B. SCHABACKER
Tired of pinching pennies? Bored with rationing? Don’t despair if you’re burned out from budgeting, trying to make ends meet, and struggling to survive financially. Learning to stay within your budget, save, and live within your means can offer financial freedom and improve your life. Tightening your belt may be wearing thin, so here are some creative suggestions you can try that won’t stretch you too thin.
REWARDS AND REINFORCEMENT
Whatever your financial situation, set your worries and fears aside. Work with what you’ve got, focus on earning and conserving, and reward yourself along the way with positive reinforcement. Thinking negatively and living in the lack can subtract from your quality of life. So, instead, adopt a positive, “can-do” mindset, fill up on hope and inspiration, work out a strategic plan you stick to, and talk yourself up and out of a slump.
The more you can exercise that “save more” instead of “spend more” muscle, the more you’ll accumulate in savings. Understand where your money’s actually going. Treating yourself to a new lip color, nail polish, or latte may not seem like a big expense, but they add up. Adopt a hardcore savings mentality and keep your eyes on the bigger picture, not just the prize. Every time you’re fighting a craving to spend, remember your longer-term goals and think about how financially free you’ll be when you get control of your spending.
Don’t fall into the trap of buying every time there’s a good sale or always buy more because it’s a good deal. It may feel like you’re saving more, but this is a common sales tactic to get you to shop till you drop. Stop before you spend and ask yourself: Is this something you really need? What’s the ROI and longevity? Can you get by without this or substitute it with something you already have?
Used to getting your nails and hair done? Try DIYing. You may not be as professional as the stylists you’re used to, but have fun being creative. Another advantage? You can do it all from home. Put music on and make yourself something to sip on. Glean some visual inspiration online or from magazines. Pin fav looks in a Pinterest board or tear out pages from mags, and check out beauty tutorials on YouTube. Be patient; it takes practice and some trying, but don’t overlook DIYing!
Same goes for your canine companion’s grooming expenses. Afraid your fur baby will make a mess in your bathroom? Head outdoors to lather up and hose down to rinse.
Paying for a gym membership you can’t afford? Get a better and more creative workout at home and save on transportation. Set a regular time to get active. Put on some music, work out vids, or join a LIVE vid session. Rather be outdoors? Try yoga or tai chi in the backyard for body conditioning and take a jog around the block or at a nearby park for cardio.
SKIP EXPENSIVE ENTERTAINMENT
Entertainment doesn’t have to be an expense. Forgo subscriptions to magazines; instead, check them out from your library. No Netflix? No worries. Head to YouTube for your film fix, music videos, comedy, and cooking shows. There’s also plenty of free music to stream and download. And, thanks to technology, we can tune into LIVE performances of music, musicals, opera, ballet, and theatre wherever there’s Wi-Fi.
No money for concessions? Just head to your kitchen. These days, you don’t have to travel the world to experience it. Explore different cultures around the globe just a few clicks away. No need to buy recipe books. Try recipes from cooking and baking blogs and vlogs.
You may not be Miss Money now with a disposable income, multiple houses, and cars, but you can always be rich in spirit and improve your financial outcome. Keep working consistently on reasonable and achievable goals.
Feel like you’ve been on a treadmill, like a hamster in a wheel, or treading water and just trying not to drown in debt? Reassess, refresh, and reconfigure. You can do this! Don’t look back.
Look forward to when you can look back on your life and laugh at the lack.