In our fourth and final installment of the money management series with Marsha Barnes, she offers us some of her top savings tips. Read on for some of her best advice on making your cash behave.
Marsha Barnes’ Top 10 Savings Tips:
- Keep your costs low by trimming financial fat in every area possible (cable, entertainment, gifting, etc.) Many times this method is savored for those who have mounting debt, or have experienced layoffs. Think long-term satisfaction as opposed to short-term gratification.
- Adopt a “not right now” attitude. As a family, when we don’t have out of town vacation money we adopt the staycation method. Remember that having an outlet to relax surpasses the desire to travel out of state or abroad. Credit does not equal cash, put the plastic away.
- Downsize. Larger salaries don’t have to equate to a larger lifestyle. Apply increased income or bonuses to a long-term savings account such as a money market account, which allows you to accrue interest or put the money in an emergency account. Over the span of a few years both my husband and I have received promotions or transitioned into roles that added additional income to our household. Our motto has not wavered which is to “be still where we are.”
- Find local freebies. Maximize your local museums and libraries for more than checking out books–spend time alone or with your family while growing a wealth of knowledge for free. What a great way to make use of those local and state taxes that you pay annually!
- Adopt a minimalist lifestyle: Adopt a minimalist attitude by avoiding shopping. Steer clear of malls and retail stores. If you don’t need it don’t buy it. There’s no such thing as window shopping, it is one of the greatest forms of temptation.
- Make a list. Cook and eat what you have in your pantry prior to venturing out for those routine grocery store runs. Use the same method as if you were dining out. “Would you order more food before you have eaten what you have?”
- Serve and be served. Give a gift of service instead of a material item. The memory will last much longer.
- Become a master at the 30-day rule. Whenever you have the urge to purchase a big-ticket item, allow 30 days to let the yearning to pass. Save yourself some money by simply waiting.
- Mix and match. Purchase items that mix and match well. Embrace work uniforms such as a company shirt. I think it’s fair to say that each of us go to work to make money, not spend money.
- Coupon it. Snipping coupons and searching through weekly circulars may appear to be quite tedious and boring. However, once you set a grocery budget this method assists greatly with staying focused on your end goal.
Barnes says she is committed to her organization and focused on assisting those both in her community and across the country to become financially empowered. She recently announced that Financial Empowerment will be expanding services by creating a mobile finance boutique that will allow her to provide young adults and adults with a hands-on approach by teaching them how to have power over their personal finances.