"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 to spend and would find it difficult to not spend at all. We feel that it could stress us further. However far to the contrary, accepting the challenges to not spend money on 1 day, not using credit cards for a week and not dining out for a month could help render certain important lessons for life.
Here are the challenges:
The challenge to eliminate the use of credit cards for a week. We all tend to spend a lot on small and big purchases with using the credit card that carry a high rate of interest. Credit card tends to make us spend excessively on unwanted purchases. This creates stress of paying back the credit that includes the amount spent and interest. It is true that the use of credit cards have pushed many into bankruptcy and decreased their credit-worthiness.
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. It is also true that buying with credit cards causes financial stress and spoiling of important life relationships. So avoiding plastic money could reduce stress, save relationships and safeguard your credit worthiness.
The next challenge of not spending 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, 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 important how much you saved, but that you saved and also learnt some of life’s most important lessons.
The last challenge of not dining out for a month could be difficult for many today, with some feeling that there is propaganda against restaurants and cafeterias. 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. Some of us eating in cheap fast food joints may not realize it immediately, however its long-term health consequences would prove you wrong.
Avoiding eating in restaurants would not only effect 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 spending money lavishly when you have it or would like a change from homemade food.
The last thought:
This does not mean that you should not spend at all on dining out or on getting good things of life. It only means you should have enough money and savings to spend it. This self-control would only help you save and prepare you psychologically for a consumerism behavior when you cannot spend. I am sure you would learn a lot with these spending challenges once you try them.
The above article is a guest post by Ramalingam K, an MBA (Finance) and Certified Financial Planner. He is the Founder and Director of Holistic Investment Planners, a firm that offers Financial Planning and Wealth Management. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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