Saturday, January 21, 2012

My Favorite Money Saving Tip

Alternate post title - How To Start Saving.  This is my favorite tip for saving.  It's how I started.  It's how most people start.  And it's simple.

Write down EVERY penny you spend.

That's right - write it down.  I kept a journal for one month.  I wrote down everything.  What I spent at the gas station, the fast food restaurant, and the mall.  I even wrote down that $.50 toll.   And even though I thought I was frugal, I discovered that I really wasn't.  There was so much waste - everyday.  And when I wrote it down, I had to face it.  I could see how much those little $10 trips to the grocery store were adding up.  

So why did I do this for a whole month?  Well, when I decided to write down every expense, I figured I would do it for a week.  You know, just to get an idea of where my money was going.  And as I mentioned, I already thought I'd be pretty pleased with the result.  I thought I was smart with my money.  But I was wrong.  And I noticed that within a few days.  So, I just continued to write everything down.  For weeks.  And it became a game - to see how little I could spend.  I loved writing $0 on any given day.  And after a few weeks, those $0s were adding up.  

My mind set was changing.  Instead of having things, I had money.  Which I liked more! Instead of thinking about all of the 'stuff' I didn't have, I was thinking about all of the money that would be adding up.  

Holding myself accountable was really life changing.  Every time I  thought about spending money, I knew I was going to have to go home and write it down.  And be reminded of it.  It forced me to question every purchase.  It also forced me to think before I spent.  Which is something I had never done before.

This is how I became frugal.  And I still use this tip today.  Years later.  I still pull out a piece of scrap paper and write down my expenses.  Just to make sure I'm still thinking about my money.  We work hard for it - we should work hard to keep it!

1 comment:

  1. You are SO right! I need to do that. I am pretty frugal too...or so I think! LOL! I'm GOING to do that because there's always room for improvement. I've heard that before but no one ever explained it like you did and they didn't talk as if they had ever done it themselves.
    You should give classes! And you're very good at explaining and writing your thoughts out so people can understand it clearly. Great usual! Thanks!