Everywhere you look, there’s something to buy and spend your money on. Unless you’re living out in the wilderness and are surviving solely off the land and natural resources, you’re going to need money on many days to progress and survive in modern day society. Sure, there are the rare stories of people surviving for a year by bartering, but that’s not the norm and is quite challenging in the economic scale of consumerism and capitalism. The norm is to earn money, either by working and earning a wage in the form of a salary or hourly rate, or via sales commissions, or by owning or running a business and receiving profits or other manner of compensation from that business. Living off of investments is a possibility as well, though at the base of that investment capital, there was most likely an origin of a job’s wages to start. Most humans spend around ⅓ of adulthood working, either for someone else in a company or other organization, or via self employment of some variety, either in an individual contributor capacity, or a freelancer, where there are actually many bosses, or by owning a business and having employees. At the base of it all is an exchange for skills, time and money. What we do with that money once it hits our bank account is what counts. Let’s look at a few unique ways to incorporate a bit more savings into your life.
Credit card hacking. Credit cards get a bad wrap, though if they’re used intelligently, they can actually be quite lucrative to building wealth. Putting all of your expenses on a credit card, that has benefits in either cash back or points, can add up over the course of time and provide to you and your family a nice trip, or a lump sum to deposit into your savings account. The key to making credit cards work for and not against you is to pay the balance off each month, so there is no interest charge, which works against your wealth building in the long term.
Buy used instead of new. Cars, clothes, appliances, furniture, decorative items, jewelry and more. Think of all of the thousands of items in your home and consider what blend of those items you bought new and used. If you bought everything new and nothing used, what’s that total of goods you’ve bought? If you acquired a significant volume of items used or second-hand, how much money did you save by doing so? And, what have you done with the saved money? If you’re already on the track of searching for something used, whether something as significant as a car, or insignificant as a new pair of shorts, consider yourself a step ahead of the pack. To take the next step, keep track of the amount you save per item, and put that amount saved into an interest earning savings account and watch your strategy grow for you. Finding savings accounts is as easy as searching something like credit unions in San Diego County, or wherever you live, to start comparing rates and fees, to get the best bang for your buck.
Make your own household cleaners. Similarly to buying used items, you can save a significant amount of money across the years by making your own household cleaners, instead of buying expensive and toxic ones at the store. From laundry detergent for a few cents/gallon, to window cleaner of simple vinegar or rubbing alcohol, the DIY options are endless, as are the cost savings. With the rise of information about indoor air toxicity, there are a number of short term and long term cost and health benefits to making your own and simplifying the chemicals used to clean your home, car, office and outdoor spaces.
No matter your savings plan, there are a plethora of ways to incorporate even more into your life, usually with greater ease and benefit than you’re experiencing currently. The point of savings on transactional items is to free up more cash flow, though most people don’t actually put that saved money to work for their future selves, they simply buy more of something else. To get ahead of the crowd, use those savings to allocate more into your savings or investments accounts, your future self with thank you.