With more and more people realizing the negative consequences of excessive spending, saving money is making a comeback.
Not only are people making an earnest attempt to spend less money, they are also realizing the need to have money put away for future expenses. This is one instance where looking back can help us move forward, by combining new money management techniques with proven strategies from the past.
Here are a few ways to save money that combine lessons from previous generations with modern technology. The result could be the best money saving recipe to date.
- Spend less than you make. This is timeless advice and for good reason- it works. It is simply impossible to get ahead financially if you spend more money than you make. To find real financial security you must adopt a standard of living that allows you to cover financial obligations plus save money for your future needs.
- Reduce waste and consumption. Their reasons may have been different yet the concept is the same. Use what you have before you go out and purchase something new. Previous generations did this in the form of mending clothes, passing outgrown clothes to younger children, using leftovers to create new meals and many other ways. Much of those techniques could be applied today without much effort, resulting in less money spent on items that still have usefulness within the home. Does this mean you can never buy anything new? Of course not, but you should find ways to reuse items you have before throwing them in the trash. This is a good practice not only for your pocketbook but the environment as well.
- Take advantage of new money management tools. In the past our grandparents may have been leery to put all their money in the bank and they certainly would have thought twice before trusting a computer to monitor their investments. Thanks to advanced technology, consumers currently have the opportunity to review, manage and track their finances online. There are many free online management tools that actually help consumers get a better idea of where there money is going and how to better budget and manage their finances. There is even an online management tool that incorporates the old fashioned envelope budgeting system that worked well for many families generations ago.
- Automate savings. In the past the only way to get your money in the bank was by driving there and physically depositing the money in your account. Sometimes the money never made it there because it was kept at home or spent on other living expenses that popped up. If you have the option to directly deposit your money into your checking or savings account, take advantage of the opportunity. You will find you spend less money when it is not in your hands and most people don’t miss money put into savings if they do not “see” it first.
- Adopt a simpler lifestyle. Find ways to entertain your family that don’t cost an arm and a leg. You can have fun evenings at home (after eating dinner together at the table) by playing boardgames or other activities that encourage family members to interact with one another. If you don’t already implement money saving strategies like hanging out your laundry versus using your dryer, growing your own vegetables or making your meals from scratch, give them a try. All of these practices can help reduce the amount of money you are spending and most are better for your family and the environment in general.
As you can see there are many lessons that can be learned from the past. If it worked for previous generations it certainly can work for us today. By combining tried and true methods proven to work with new technology and techniques you can easily find a balance that helps you save money and reduce some of the stress in you life.
Trisha Wagner is a freelance writer for DepositAccounts.com, where you can compare rates of checking accounts from dozens of banks in one place. Trisha writes regularly on the topics of personal finance and savings accounts.