January 14, 2014

Curb Your Spending This 2014

How was your 2013?  Were you able to manage your spending and grow your savings? I've seen that most people always include topics about avoiding over spending and growing their savings as part of their goals for the new year.  Some were able to manage quite well but some failed, as usual.  We have to face it, it's really quite hard to manage our finances especially when it comes to spending.  The temptation to spend can be overwhelming and for women, it is one of the hardest thing to avoid.

I believe that it really takes a lot of self control and discipline to fulfill this goal but there are ways that you can do to succeed.  Here are some of my suggestions:

  1. Check your closet.  Try to reinvent your wardrobe.  Mix and match.  This will help you appear to have new outfits all the time without really having to buy new clothes.  Better yet, check and make a list of what you already own.  Probably, you still have enough in the closet that were not really worn yet and there's no really need for you to purchase a new one.  Try to have a list of clothes that you have which can be worn on summer and during rainy season.  A mall sale is not an excuse to buy if these are not really needed in the first place.
  2. Set up your goals.  List down some projects that you need to accomplish this year and have it posted on your memo board or anywhere that you would always have access to.  This way, you can remind yourself to work harder to achieve your target.  I used to do this every year.  I always list down my projects starting from the minor ones to the major ones.  I tick what has already been accomplished.  I set aside a specific budget for each project and try to work on saving for that amount.
  3. Work on your budget and set aside a portion of your earnings.  I know this is quite hard to do as we often failed to follow our budget at times.  But when you're about to violate this, just go back to number 2  and you will get that inspiration to stick to your budget and set aside an amount from your earnings.  You may choose to set an amount that you think is feasible.  Don't go too high or else, you will not be able to follow this rigidly and once you failed once, you will lose the sight of your goals already.
  4. Prepare for future spending.  You may choose to use your spare time trying to figure out what you can do to prepare for your future spending.  In my case, I am planning to buy one specific gift each month and store it in my gifts closet.  I will collect as much gift items that I think would be suitable for all the people in my list for the entire year, basically that will cover birthdays and Christmas.  In that way, I do not need to spend a big amount comes December.  I will just deduct the amount from my budget. Let's say sacrificing one dinner at your favorite restaurant will allow you to buy a gift or two. Better yet, you can start doing some craft works and prepare these as gifts to your friends and relatives. This way, if you have a 13th month pay, you can have it as part of your savings instead of spending it during the holidays.
There are a lot more things that you can do to save and avoid over spending.  We just need to prioritize what is important and what is not.  Discipline is the key.  I know it's hard but we can always try! :)

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