The difference between feeling comfortable with your finances and feeling broke all comes down to how you manage your spending. Wealthy people stay wealthy because they know exactly how to manage their finances so they always have money. Here are seven tricks to spending less money and feeling a lot richer.
1. Pass on the Extended Warranty
Having something break down on you is a real nightmare, so when you buy a new item you want to be as covered as possible in case anything goes wrong. At the moment you pay for big purchases like appliances or new electronics, your feelings of not wanting to waste your money on something that will break or won’t work are the strongest. That is exactly why the salesperson will offer you the extended warranty at that point. You feel like you need it, even though you probably don’t. If you pay with a credit card you are probably already covered in case anything goes wrong during the same time the extended warranty would cover you. Take a chance and pass on the extended warranty.
2. Pay Less By Threatening to Walk
The art of negotiating how much you pay for services is pretty easy to master once you remember one thing: you phone, cable, and internet companies do not want to lose you as a customer. If you call them up and tell them that you want to switch to a different service provider, they will try to entice you to stay by offering you a better deal. Try this with the late fees on your credit cards too.
3. Split Costs With Your Friends and Family
There are lots of things you can do to split costs of your living expenses. If you go shopping at a big box outlet store, you can do so after you agree to split the cost for the 24 bottles of Tide with your friends. It will save everybody money. How about making sure that you have the same carrier as the people you talk to the most, this way you won’t pay for your texts or calls. If you don’t mind sharing your space, you can get a roommate. It even helps lower your every day costs to move in with your girlfriend. OK, maybe you’re not ready for the commitment yet—just be prepared to pay for it.
4. Save More, Save Often
Got some extra cash after you take care of the household expenses? Instead of blowing through what you have left over after payday, why not put it into some kind of savings? Whether it’s a bigger contribution to your 401k, a few more buck in the petty cash you have around the house, or just deposited into your regular savings account, that money will last longer if you don’t spend it. Doing this on a check by check basis makes sure that your total net worth is always on the rise.
5. Make Sure You Have Cash on Hand
It’s best to have some cash on hand at all times. No matter how you do it—even if it means you aren’t paying your credit cards off in full every month—you should have something available in case of emergencies. Paying with cash is also a way of making sure you won’t spend too much, since you never want to part ways with it as much as you don’t mind adding something to a card.
6. Be Your Own Handyman
If you have a recurring problem that needs fixing—plastering, bike repair, plumbing, you name it—you should pick up a few of the trade secrets that your repair guy knows and he’s charging you for. If he can do it, there’s no reason why you can’t do it, right? Luckily, the internet makes this a lot easier than it used to be. Not only do you have wikis that explain how to do everything, you can see it done in action on Youtube. You just have to invest the time in doing the research, seeing what works and you will wind up saving on all of your household repairs.
7. Think in Big Numbers
The number in red at the bottom of your monthly bill is just a portion of what you’re going to pay over the course of an entire contract when you buy an item like a new phone. Don’t get sucked in to a deal just because you can handle the monthly expense. Every time that $90 bill comes in, you feel like you are getting a good deal, but that bill adds up to over $2100 over the course of the two years of your contract. Instead of thinking of your bill as a recurring monthly charge, look at the total amount that you will be paying over the course of the contract. The deal may not seem as good, and lead you to find a better contract somewhere else or with a different product.