To begin our discussion about how to focus on one behavior to fulfill your goal of saving money, let’s distinguish between habits and goals. For example, you can plan to lose to reach your target weight, which is your goal. But, if you plan to exercise every day and eat healthy food, then it becomes your habit. I feel that if you have to focus on fulfilling your goal, then make it your habit. It will help you to attain your goal. Now, let’s start with how you can focus on one behavior at a time to save more money and achieve your financial goals.
3 Steps to change a behavior
You need to follow these 3 steps to form a habit to change one behavior. Then only, you’ll be able to attain your goal of saving money.
Observe what you need to do:
If you want to change your overspending nature, at first observe where you need to curtail to save more.
Target what you need to achieve:
Next, you target the habit that you need to change. Do not try to change everything at once. Make a list of the habits you think you need to change to save your hard-earned money. Moreover, when you want to stop one habit, don’t do it all together; at first reduce, then stop doing it gradually.
Track your progress:
Keep tracking your progress to stay motivated. Also, make a note of how much you’re able to save by changing your habits. Slowly and gradually, you’ll be able to reach your goal of saving a significant amount every month or year. I feel that the best way to save money is to adopt a frugal lifestyle in every aspect.
How to lead a frugal lifestyle
It might be a bit difficult to adopt a frugal lifestyle in each and every aspect at once. So, what you can do is adopt a frugal lifestyle in one aspect at a time, focus on that, and when you’re successful, shift your focus to another aspect of frugal living. However, when you’re trying to adopt another aspect of frugal lifestyle, make sure you continue with the previous one. For example, if you’ve been successful in becoming a frugal grocery shopper, keep practicing it along with implementing frugal aspect in dealing with utility bills. Now, let’s discuss how to be frugal in a few aspects :
Saving on grocery shopping
Here are a few ways:
Save coupons, clip them, and use them smartly when you need
Look for discount items that are in your list
Shop items in bulk that you can consume before the expiry date
Always have a list with you when you go shopping
Plan meals ahead and buy only the things you need
You can look for the best deals to collect the necessary coupons. Make sure you spend some time taking the required coupons with you when you go shopping.
Dealing with utility bills
The best way to save money on utility bills which you might be missing out:
Use a space heater to warm the bathroom when you need instead of switching on the thermostat
Set the temperature at 64F during the winter season and at 77F during the summer season
Try to restrict your shower time to a maximum of 20 minutes every day
Browse and compare cell phone contracts to buy a good but cheaper one
Club your car trips so that you can save on the gas bill
Cancel gym membership if you rarely visit and opt for working out amidst nature when the weather is favorable
Try out DIY strategies wherever possible
Restricting eating out
Undoubtedly eating out is fun. However, eating at home not only will help to save money but also it’s a healthier option. So, reduce your eating outs gradually and then restrict it to once or twice a month. That too set a limit beyond which you won’t spend on one dining.
Choosing a debt repayment strategy
You can even behave frugally when you’re trying to pay off debt. How is that possible? You can achieve this goal by opting to consolidate credit card debt. By choosing to consolidate your debts, you have to make a single monthly payment, that too at a reduced rate of interest, towards paying back your debts. Now, it’s up to you which consolidation option you will choose. You can enroll in a consolidation program, take out a loan, or opt for the balance transfer method. Whatever option you choose, you can repay your multiple unsecured debts through affordable single monthly payments.
At last, I should mention that plan a budget without which no money saving plan will be effective. Plan a realistic budget, review it, and make modifications when necessary. Doing so, you’ll surely succeed in attaining your financial goal.
The article is contributed by Linda Richardson from San Francisco, CA. She has started her writing career recently and you can follow her at Facebook.