On the Illumination Wealth Blog, we’ve talked a lot about how to save more money for the future, building up investments for an early retirement and managing wealth to achieve financial independence. However, we don’t want to ignore the fact that you want to be able to enjoy the life you are living right now.
It’s true that the more frugal and careful you are with your money, the more of it you will have down the road. Still, you shouldn’t have to live like a hermit and wait until later to have some fun. The good news is that there are ways to accomplish both objectives. You can continue to save more money without having to change your lifestyle much at all.
Here are a few simple money-saving tips you can start using right away while you continue living a normal lifestyle:
Take some time to analyze your daily, weekly and monthly expenses. Every dollar you can cut back can go into savings or investments. Obviously, keep the things you absolutely need while cutting out some of the excesses. Some easy examples include:
One of the easiest ways to save money is to take a little extra effort to shop around, especially when making bigger purchases. Comparing prices online is so quick and simple, and it can allow you to save thousands over time.
Impulse buys account for so much wasted money. When is the last time you looked in your garage and saw how much stuff you don’t use at all? Get in the habit of taking a moment to pause and think before making a wasteful impulse buy. You probably tell your kids “no” all the time. Just remember to tell it to yourself every once in awhile!
Obviously, you never want to bury yourself in a mountain of credit card debt. However, you can use credit cards to your advantage if you are smart. Look for ones with benefits you will actually use (airline miles and other redeemable rewards). Just remember to pay off the balances every month and you can really make the most of the benefits they provide.
More and more people are using micro-savings accounts like Acorns to put away a little bit of money at a time. It’s like having a piggy bank when you are a kid where you put all your loose change. It’s just a lot more advanced and it’s even easier to use. Believe it or not, it all adds up as you put small amounts of money into your account and watch the investment grow over time.
Too many people make the mistake of not shopping around enough when it comes to insurance coverage. Whether it’s car insurance, home insurance, health insurance or life insurance, you should analyze your plans and costs every year or two. Change providers, benefits and deductibles as needed to save money without sacrificing the coverage you need.
Whether you have aspirations as an entrepreneur or just want to start up a small home business of some type, having your own business is another great way to save money. Certain personal expenses can be written off as tax deductions and you can put away any extra income you earn.
Because your 401(k) plan or other IRA allows you to put in money pre-tax, you can often up the amount you put in and barely notice it on your final paycheck. Contribute as much as you can and that money will keep earning for you until you are ready to pull it out at retirement.
Lastly, you may want to consider investing some of your money rather than just putting it into a low-yield savings account. Work with financial advisor to get your investment portfolio in order and help manage your wealth (both in terms of your current cash flow needs and your retirement savings goals).
These are just a few ways to maintain a normal lifestyle while at the same time saving more money for your future. When you do it right, you can enjoy your life now and for many, many years to come.
Illumination Wealth is here to help. Our financial advisement team can help you achieve your financial goals and get the absolute most out of your money. Contact us today to learn more or to set up a no-obligation financial consultation.