A lot of people think the road to saving and investing is closed to them. Let’s face it. When you start out “on your own,” you have freedom. Many of us experience true freedom for the first time at that moment, but the moment doesn’t last.
Credit card companies (and many others) come along and promise that you can go in a little debt and boost your “lifestyle.” Years pass. You get married. You have kids. Suddenly, you have just enough to scrape by – maybe not even that. And you arrive at “How can I save? How can I invest? I can barely get by.”
Let me open the door to saving just for you. You have to take your life back from these people. And you have to do what all great explorers do: start with baby steps.
Review your life. I mean your financial life. See where your money is actually going by looking at the last three months of your expenses.
See what could be eliminated. Then, start to look at where you could reduce expense. Don’t stop at regular spending (eating out, movies). Look at regular bills as well. Call the individual companies and tell them that your family has been slammed by the recession and you need their help in reducing the bill by 10 – 15%. You may be surprised to get their help, but be open-minded to ideas they have in reducing your bill. You have to pitch in, too.
When you get a bill reduced by 8% or 10% or 15% (good job), calculate that money and earmark that money for savings BEFORE you pay your first bill each month. Remember: If you are not actually saving that money, YOU ARE NOT SAVING.
Look at your paycheck. Look at the after-tax amount you get every time you get paid. If you have to do this, begin by saving only 1% off the top of your after tax pay each time you get paid. Each month after that, increase the amount you take OFF THE TOP and put in savings by another 1%. It will make transitioning into savings easier for you and your family, and chances are you will not miss the money that much.
The key to wealth-building is:
#1. Automatic savings month after month or paycheck after paycheck. You cannot look at this as optional.
#2. Eliminate or lower debt all the time. Focus on first reducing debt and then eliminating it (especially credit card debt).
#3. Purchasing assets systematically. This means regular investments in assets (assets – by our definition – are those things that pay a dividend or reproduce the source element of the asset).
The road is now open to you IF you will begin. Do as we say and you will grow more secure and you will grow wealth. This is not get rich quick, but it works.
If you want more tips on saving money (tricks) and boosting wealth (strategies), sign up for our FREE monthly e-saver at http://www.stickyasset.com/blog. You can also get our $4.95 “How To Survive Any Financial Crisis” at http://www.middleclassmoney.com.
You can do this. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t.