If you received a gift of $500, what would you do with it? Save some or all of it? Pay off bills? Buy a want or two?
How you decide to spend the gift, depends on how you feel about money. To some people, money is power. To some money equals status and prestige, while for others it means security. For some people money allows them to get the things they want in life. Others just want to have enough to meet their needs. Look at the graphic below and identify what kind of spender you are?
Are there ways you spend money that could use an overhaul? Maybe consider making a few small changes in how you handle your money.
Some months you can’t pay all of your bills. It may seem like you aren’t able to save money. When this happens, spending less may be the next plan. However, what do you do?
- Find the best buy – comparison shop several options including resale or garage sales. Look before you spend.
- Use Wisely. Make the items you buy last longer. Take care of clothes properly – read care labels. Keep food from spoiling before you are able to eat it.
- Substitute. Is there a lower priced item that will do the job as well? Use store brands or generics instead of name brands.
- Share it. Stretch resources by sharing with neighbors, friends or family. Buy in bulk and share cost and items. Join a carpool.
- Find it free. Use public parks and playgrounds. Borrow books or movies from the library.
- Rent or borrow. Do you only need something for a short time or once or twice a year? Would it be more cost effective to rent the carpet cleaner than buying or borrowing?
- Trade or Swap. Could you trade items you no longer need that someone else may need? Can you trade helping out a neighbor for shared help?
- Make It (DIY). Can you make the item, which means using your time and skills? Make sure the cost of materials is cheaper than buying the finished product.
- Watch “phantom” money. Keep track of cash (debit card) in your wallet. Cut back or cut out spending on snacks, sodas/drinks when out, magazines, eating out, shopping online or on the t.v. Could it be lottery tickets?
- Don’t buy it. Ask yourself if you really need it now or can it wait. Learn to say NO to: yourself, children, grandchildren, salesperson and to things you feel pressured into buying.