Personal Finance » Saving

Save money without sacrificing what you love

Let’s face it, most of us waste money on useless stuff. I see it often in my conversations with people about the use – and misuse – of their money.

Whatever your indulgences – too many dinners out, cigarettes and booze, expensive cars, too much house, expensive clothing, spoiling the kids, travel, electronics – you may spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars a month on crap that adds nothing to the achievement of your financial goals and perhaps you can’t afford anyway.

There is nothing wrong with spending money you can afford, but there is a lot wrong if the important things are being ignored. Often the people most likely to blow money on crap are those least able to afford it.

If money is tight, saving for important financial goals – retirement, your children’s education, paying off debts, building an emergency fund, insurance to protect your family – is often ignored because we aren’t willing to give up the little indulgences that total up to be a great deal of money.

I see couples who spend $300 a month at Starbucks but have no insurance. If one of them wasn’t able to earn an income, the family could be destitute. If they made their coffee at home they could save $270 a month for insurance or put into an RRSP or TFSA. That’s just one of many ideas.

Richard Syrop’s book Effortless Savings: A Step-by-Step Guidebook to Saving Money Without Sacrifice is a great handbook for those who struggle with their spending. Effortless Savings shows you how to get good value without giving up the things you love, enabling you to afford the important stuff.

This is one of many examples that can save you a great deal of money. What would you do if you could have a few hundred dollars extra each month, without significant sacrifices in your lifestyle?

Do you worry about money? You’ll find the small sacrifices worthwhile when you shed those stresses as your finances improve. Life gets much better when you get rid of credit card debts and start to save for children’s education, for example.

Effortless Savings not only provides step-by-step money-saving strategies but also information on the pitfalls of things like credit cards and daily-deals sites and resources for online shopping and saving on large purchases such as cars and electronics.

One of the most common complaints I hear is, “I can’t save money because they’re struggling to keep their head above water.” Often they’re blowing hundreds of dollars a month on crap. They usually can afford to save but they’re just choosing to spend their money elsewhere.

Another objection is being unable to save money because they need to enjoy today instead of saving for an uncertain future. Most of these people have huge money worries, working jobs they dislike in a futile attempt to keep up with mounting debts and worrying about their future.

If you have too much month left at the end of your money and are stressed out by your finances, imagine how much better life would be if you had no money worries.

It may not take a lot of big changes to save money. Some tweaks here and there can have huge results.

Summer may be a great time to read Effortless Savings. It’s an engaging, easy read, and far more worthwhile than that trashy novel that you can get from the library. See, there’s another money-saving idea.

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