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It can be easy to spend less if you follow a few key tips and try to be proactive about major expenses.
some simple and relatively obvious ways to cut spending in order to make the ledge more attractive for saving. Here in Part 2, we’ll look at some unexpected strategies.
6. Work with your partner.
When starting a gym routine, it’s helpful to have a motivated partner to help you get and stay on the new schedule. The same can be true for your financial health. Even if you’re the sole breadwinner and bill-payer, engage your partner in decisions about finances and spending. Why? Because not doing so may mean that one half of the partnership is fully engaged on spending less, while the other may be spending excessively and in contrast with your financial goals. Being on the same page doesn’t have to be accompanied by a series of stern lectures or excessive harping on expenditures. But at the very least, good communication will double your chances of removing excessive spending habits and set clear boundaries for what you’ll splurge on and what you’ll forgo.
7. Maintain what you have.
Many of life’s biggest emergency expenditures come from regular maintenance avoided. Fail to get regular oil changes, and you’ll significantly increase the chances that the Jaguar in the garage will need to be replaced much sooner than it otherwise would. Not taking proper care of plants, appliances, and other household items will mean replacing those goods before you need to. One strategy for maintaining what’s yours is to set aside a couple of weekend days per year to give all of your possessions a good once-over. Set a day in the spring, for example, to make sure all the belts and hoses in the lawn mower are in good working order and a day in the fall to look over the appliances and replace any failing parts. Extending the shelf life of the goods you already have won’t be an obvious and immediate boon to your bottom line, but it can be a lasting one.
Shop only in the offseason
. The prices of just about everything are governed by the laws of supply and demand. Smart shoppers can become excellent savers by making key purchases offseason. Shop for next year’s skis in April. If you don’t plan to gain or lose a lot of weight over the interim and if you can find them, buy next spring’s clothes in September. Buy school supplies in May. Do a ton of 2017 Christmas shopping the last week of December 2016. If you can manage this strategy effectively, you’ll not only reap big savings, but you’ll get the added peace of mind of being prepared well in advance.
9. Be patient
. Patience is not just a virtue, it’s a savings strategy as well. First, it can be an essential part of avoiding impulse buying—the kind of buying that wreck a budget or savings plan. Second, it can mean the difference between buying something before comparison shopping, which can lead to overpaying. Third, it can mean getting last-year’s must-have gadget this year. The new iPhone 7 is out, and it is…remarkably similar to last year’s iPhone 6. Yes, many people have to have the latest and greatest, and they’re willing to wait in line for that new gadget or pair of LeBron sneakers. But if you’re more like me, wait out the rush, and you’ll pay remarkably less for the same slightly-less-hot item in due time.
10. Sell some stuff you no longer need.
Today, you don’t have to pile your stuff on your lawn to get rid of it. You can put it up for sale on eBay or Craigslist very easily. Both sites are easy to use and pretty reputable, which means a universe of buyers that extends far beyond whatever tri-state area you inhabit. That means more potential buyers and a higher potential selling price. Of course, the tried and true “garage sale” is still an option, too. And selling off some of the goods you no longer need may have the added effect of making you realize how nonessential some of your earlier purchases turned out to be.
There are literally hundreds of ways to save. The key is to find one that doesn’t feel like that big of a sacrifice to you.