Charles Givens says in his book, “Wealth Without Risk,” that it is not how much you make that counts, but how much you save. This is still true in many ways today, even in the face of the bad economy. But how can you make this concept work for you? Here are some ways to apply this idea to your own life, and begin the road to financial wealth and freedom.
1) Save back at least 10%. This is sometimes easier said than done, but it is worth doing. If you save only 10% of your monthly income, you will find that it becomes habit after some time. Simply act as if you do not have that 10% you are taking off the top to pay yourself first. Then adjust your budget, cutting wherever you need to to be able to afford to keep this up.
2) Increase your income. To free up more money, get a second job, or even an occasional job, such as selling, babysitting for a friend, or fixing a friend’s car. Think about what you can do to offer a service. Start a business if you have the resources to do so. Mow lawns, trim shrubs. Ask neighbors what you can do to help. Some businesses don’t cost much to start up and can pay off in the long run by providing you with lots of extra cash. Think of ways you can bring more money into your life, so you can stick to your savings plan.
3) Save your pennies. Some people find an extra $20, $50, or even $100 in “loose change” lying around in jars, pockets, and piggy banks. I keep an “ATM cash” jar that counts my money as I put it in. Childish, I know, but it works. I’m up to $89 right now!
4) Watch utilities and extra costs. Utilities are a big way people lose money. They let it out through their air conditioning vent by not changing the filters regularly, by leaving lights and appliances running, and many other ways. So analyze your utility bills carefully and cut where you can. Saving on utilities alone can save up to hundreds of dollars per month and thousands per year. And that is money you can stash away or invest.
5) Invest when you can. You may have to start small, but this is the essence of what Charles Givens and others are trying to say. If you do not save, you will never increase your wealth. If every bit of your income goes out to bills, but you are not going any further into debt, that’s a start. But eventually, you are going to need to put away some money for your future. So, as soon as you are able to make your bills and pay the necessities without debting, start paying yourself first out of every paycheck for optimal results.
There are no easy answers to starting and maintaining a savings plan. But, little by little, you can start putting a focus on savings and bringing more money into your life. So start small, with pennies at first, saving extra change and small amounts, and work up to dollars and larger amounts. Once you are saving around 10% of your income or more, consider what you could invest in over the long term. Every little thing you can do now will lead to greater financial security in the future. Remember, the old adage is true: “A penny saved IS a penny earned.”