Thursday, December 30, 2010

Best Ways to Save Money in 2011

What are the best ways to save money in 2011? It depends on your lifestyle and personality (eg, How much debt do you have? What's your money personality?). But these unusual ways to save money work for most people most of the time.

They're more psychological than the "same old same old" money saving tips...

Best Ways to Save Money in 2011

Relate your financial goals to your overall life purpose. What do you want to do with your life — where do you see yourself in 5 years, 10 years, 20 years? Your thoughts become things, so stay focused on what you want to achieve in your life. Relate your life goals to specific money goals. Say, for instance, your life goal is to live in a home with a view of the ocean. Cut a picture of your dream home out of a magazine, or sketch it yourself. Paste it your fridge, bathroom mirror, office wall. That vision will help you stay motivated to save money this year.

Get rid of household and office clutter. When your home is cluttered, you often spend money to replace things you can’t find. You keep buying “organizers" such as containers and shelving units -- and you may even hire a professional organizer. Sometimes you buy things you don’t need to declutter your home — and they just cause more clutter and more debt! So, one of the best ways to save money in 2011 is to declutter. The less clutter you have, the better able you can see and find the things you need. Food will be less likely to go bad in the fridge. Warranties and guarantees and receipts will be at your fingertips. You won't have to spend money replacing stuff you have, but can’t find. Decluttering can even increase your motivation to set and achieve financial goals.

Activate two money saving tips a month. We see the best ways to save money everywhere – the internet, budget books, our rich old aunts, on placemats at funky restaurants. But do we actually apply them to our lives? Nope. It’s too much. So we need to be strategic about saving money in 2011. Pick one or two money saving tips. Focus on making those two tips a habit for a month or six weeks. Then, find one two more money saving tips to work on. This way, you’re not overwhelmed with a million ways to save money.

Make two days a week “No Spend” days. “Unspend,” advise the financial gurus at DailyWorth. “No Spend Days are powerful budget-balancing tools. By simply not spending money one day a week, you give yourself more wiggle room in other areas.” I think one day a week is too easy – I challenge you to make two days a week your “No Spend” days! No DVD rentals, no 7-11 slurpees (my personal weakness), and no restaurant meals.

These are just a few tips for saving money. For the whole enchilada, go to Quips and Tips for Money and Love.

Also -- my husband and I have discovered a pot of gold in The 4-Hour Workweek, Expanded and Updated. It's not about saving money per se -- it's about living the life the way you want it, no matter how much money you have.

Any questions or comments on these "best ways to save money in 2011"? I welcome you below...

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