Strategy 1: Don’t become emotionally separated from your money
Remember how you felt about money as a child? Simply holding a dollar bill was enjoyable. You knew exactly how much money you had and how you were going to use it. Now your paycheck is direct-deposited and you charge most every expense. That emotional separation from your money makes it easier to spend more. Watch your expenses decrease by using cash. Handing over three hard-earned twenties is much more difficult than a quick swipe authorizing a $58.47 charge to your credit card.
Strategy 2: Understand and be honest about expense classifications
Every dollar you spend is either for a “want” or a “need.” People often treat too many of their expenses as needs. Of the spending decisions you make everyday, are most for legitimate needs or do you just view them that way? Remember: eating is a need; eating out is a want.
Strategy 3: The time to lower your spending on needs was yesterday
Even if you limit your “wants” spending, you might struggle to save because your “needs” spending is too high for your income level. Review your spending priorities before committing to an apartment lease, mortgage, or car. Just because someone will sell you something does not mean you can afford it. Once you commit to a monthly payment, that expense takes part of your income for a long time.