3 Simple Steps To Slashing Your Bills
Are you spending too much money and finding it hard to get ahead? If you overspend and are looking for ways to save money, you are going to love this guest post by Jon Dulin from MoneySmartGuides.com. Check it out here:
If you are like most people, money always is tight.
No matter what you do, it seems that you are struggling to get ahead financially.
Chances are you haven’t tried the trick I am about to teach you.
I have found there is one trick that I use that saves me the most money.
It does take a little bit of work to set up, but once you do, it becomes a habit.
If you are willing to put in a little work, you will be amazed at how much money you can save using this trick.
And once you make this savings trick a habit, you can begin to use other ideas to cut your monthly spending to save even more money.
Are you ready to get started?
The simple 3 step process is outlined below:
How To Cut Your Bills Easily In 3 Steps
#1. Define What Is Important To You
The first step is to figure out what your goals or values are.
What brings you the most pleasure? Where do you want to be in 5 or 10 years financially?
Think about this for a little and write down your answers. Then wait a week.
Come back to your answers and read them through.
Do they resonate with you? Do you get excited reading them?
If the answer is yes, then you are ready to jump to step 2.
If you answered no, you need to try again.
Maybe your answers weren’t detailed enough?
For example, maybe you answered that going out to eat was something that brings you pleasure.
But you now see it doesn’t resonate with you. You need to ask yourself what is it about eating out that brings you joy?
After more thinking, you realize it is your friends being there that matter.
Now ask yourself if just hanging out with your friends would bring you joy.
If so, then you know that they are the key, and not eating out.
Or, it could be that what you think you value you really don’t.
Maybe you thought that having the latest technology was something you value, but now you realize it is not.
Repeat this step until you find your true answers.
#2. Review Your Spending
The second step is to start reviewing your spending while keeping your goals and values in mind.
Look through each purchase you recently made. Just scan through last month’s bank or credit card statement.
What do you see?
Do you see your spending in line with your values? Or do you see wild spending without regard to what you want or what makes you happy?
Chances are you see wild spending.
Don’t get upset if you see this. You spent that money because you weren’t fully aware of your goals and values. Now that you are, you can make changes going forward.
Highlight all of your spending that doesn’t align with your values and try to think back on these purchases.
Did they bring you any joy?
Most likely this wasteful spending was “in the moment” spending that made you feel good for a very short period of time.
These are the items you are going to work to avoid spending money on in the next step.
But before you move to the third step, total up the amount you spent on what you would now consider wasteful spending.
I want you to see how much you spent.
Be ready, the total will be shocking to you. But again, don’t let it get you down.
Use it as a lesson learned as you begin to make smarter spending choices.
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#3. Take Action
Now you are ready for the third step.
When you do go out and are planning to buy something, pause for a moment before picking it up or putting it into your shopping cart.
Think back to your goals and values.
Ask yourself if buying this goes against your goals or helps you reach your goals.
At first, you might have to spend a few minutes thinking purchases through. This is a good thing.
We tend to buy on emotion. By pausing and thinking, we let the rational side of our mind catch up and are less likely to have buyer’s remorse.
Your goal is to eliminate as much wasteful spending as possible.
But the catch is to not eliminate everything. If you do this, you will resent this process, give up, and go back to your reckless spending.
Instead, make small progress every day.
If you need a coffee to get you going, buy the coffee even if it doesn’t add value to your life.
But start working on not needing the coffee or spending the money.
Maybe you can brew your own coffee a few times a week to save some money.
Maybe you need to have an honest moment with yourself and admit there are days when you need a coffee to survive and there are days when you don’t need it.
You can then skip coffee on the unneeded days.
For me, my weakness was soda. I needed caffeine. I was addicted to it.
But one day I decided to give up soda.
The first day was brutal. By 1 PM I had a headache that lasted the rest of the day.
The next day, there was no headache, but I was in a fog all day.
But by the third day, I was fine. And as the days progressed, I had more energy and was sleeping better at night.
So start to be aware of your spending and make decisions to cut back or cut out things that don’t add value to your life.
As you practice this step more and more, it will get easier and easier for you.
Putting This Process In Action
To really help you understand this process, I am going to walk you through the third step.
Assume my goal is financial freedom. I want to retire by age 55.
When I am out shopping, I see a really good deal on a couch.
Before I do anything I ask myself if I need a couch. If I don’t, I move along.
If I do need a couch, I evaluate more. I think about my goal of retiring early and how this purchase can help me reach my goal or hurt my chances.
I don’t make my decision based solely on price. There are too many things made cheaply today that don’t last.
These things tend to be the lowest priced. I would rather spend $1,000 on a couch that will last me 15 years than a $500 couch that I have to replace in 5 years.
Once I determine if the couch is of good value and meets my goal, I make the purchase.
As I mentioned at the beginning, I’ve been using this trick to save a lot of money over the years.
And I know it will help you save money too.
After each week, you will start to notice money isn’t as tight as it was before and after a few months, you will begin to see large changes to your bank balance and your happiness.
You will have money left over at the end of the month.
You will be happier too because you are satisfying the hunger inside of you.
I encourage you to take the time to go through these steps because once you do, you too can be saving a lot of money every year going forward.
Author Bio: Jon Dulin is a personal finance expert helping people improve their finances for over 15 years. You can read more of his work at MoneySmartGuides.com where he helps readers pay off debt and start building wealth so they can achieve their dreams.
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