The safest way to double your money is to fold it over once and put it in your pocket.~ Kin Hubbard
Kin Hubbard is right in saying that if we do not spend money unnecessarily we would be able to save money and double it. However most of us like spending money and would find it difficult to not spend at all. We feel that it could stress us further.
Accepting the 3 financial challenges described here could help you in controlling unnecessary spending. Once you control and avoid spending money unnecessarily, you can save more and invest more. So you can achieve your financial goals easier and earlier. Here are the challenges:
A Day Away from Spending Money
The challenge of not spending money for a day could be difficult, but could help save and render some important life lessons. It is true as most of us have regular daily expenses on coffee, tea, lunch, and snack at regular intervals and fuel to travel to and from work.
Effective planning with implementation of this challenge involves ensuring that your fuel tank is full on the earlier day. Then setting the coffee vending machine the night before could ensure you refreshing brewed coffee to enjoy before you leave for work. Similarly, carrying homemade lunch and healthy snacks like salads, nuts, seed and snack bars could help you eat healthy and save money.
It is not as difficult as it appears. Once you start practicing it, it becomes part of your habit like fasting. It opens new ideas to you on saving on daily routine expenses.
A Week Away from Credit Cards
We all tend to spend a lot on small and big purchases with using the credit card. Credit cards tend to make us spend excessively on unwanted purchases.
Buying things on cash would only make us spend on things that we absolutely consider necessary. It is found that sometimes postponing the purchase and preferring to pay cash could make us realize that the need was just momentary.
During the week away from credit card, you will be able to understand some of your spending patterns. You will come to know on what items you make impulsive buying and on what items you make need based buying.
As you are using cash to buy and not plastic money, you may want to negotiate the price. This develops your negotiation skills.
It is also true that buying unnecessary things with credit cards causes financial stress and spoiling of important life relationships. So avoiding credit card for a week could make you a need based buyer and better negotiator.
A Month Away from Eating Out
The last challenge of not dining out for a month could be difficult for many today. This is difficult but you would realize on implementation that it saves you a lot of money that is usually spent eating out in restaurants and cafeterias.
Avoiding eating in restaurants would not only create huge savings, but also would help you avoid excesses in foods. In addition eating out only on special occasions as a family would help you enjoy the food. It would make the family realize the value of not spending money lavishly.
When we have a kid around one year old, we won’t offer any outside food. We will pack the home made food or snacks for the kid. You can follow the same for the grownups.
Again this is not as difficult as you think. Think of having a homemade food as a family in a park or beach. This will bring a different experience and enjoyment to your family. This will give you new ideas on having more fun with lesser money.
A Final Note
All these challenges do not mean that you should not spend at all on dining out or on getting good things of life. It only means you should spend the right amount of money for the right reasons. This self-control would not only help you save more but also in preparing you psychologically for a consumerism
I am sure you would learn a lot with these 3 challenges on spending money once you try them.
The author Ramalingam K is a Certified Financial Planner and an MBA (Finance). He is the Founder and Director of Holistic Investment Planners, a firm that offers Financial Planning and Wealth Management Services. He can be reached at ramalingam[AT]holisticinvestment.in.