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How to Save Money Fast, Without a Budget: A 4-Step Process
1) Automate Make Some of Your Savings Automatic One of the best ways to set a minimum baseline for your savings is to automate the process. This means taking a portion out of your paycheck and socking it into a savings plan before the money ever hits your bank account.
1) Automate Choosing how much to save automatically can be a difficult task. If you’re just getting started, make sure to put whatever you need to into your 401(k) to get the maximum company match. If you have more experience, shooting for saving at least 15% of your salary is—generally—a solid goal.
2) Wait Add a little breathing space between seeing something you want and actually making the purchase. This will help cut down on large impulse buys that can wreck your finances.
2) Wait Obviously, this is a common tactic when making life’s biggest purchases, like a new car or home. But to really help you save money, start using it when you think of purchasing any single item over $50. This is where the real savings will start to kick in as you make fewer and fewer impulse buys. If, after waiting a week or two, you still want to purchase the item, go ahead and do it.
3) Regulate Of course, you can’t wait a week or two for every purchase. When your family needs food or toiletries—waiting isn’t an option. But there are still two ways to help you save.
3) Regulate The Cash-Only Option Before heading to the store, take out a specific amount of money for purchasing what your family needs, say $100. Do not allow yourself to go above this number. This will force you to prioritize what’s most necessary, and make you far more conscious of where your money is going. The List Option Some people want to use their credit card. While this opens the possibility for over spending, there are alternatives. Before going to the store, make a list of everything you need, and only buy those items. If you stick to this, reward yourself with one “treat” item before leaving the store.
4) Meditate This might sound like an odd last step, but it might be the most important one. As you’ll see, anecdotal and scientific evidence supports the fact that meditating can not only make you spend less, but it will help you find contentment as well.
4) Meditate Mental Health Dr. Emma Seppala of Stanford University has assembled a great infograph on the mental health benefits of meditation. Among them: Increases in positive emotion and life satisfaction. Decreases in pain, inflammation, depression, anxiety, and stress. Improved decision making skills, regulation of emotions, and introspection. The Benefits of Meditation are Two-Fold Financial Health In a world where we are bombarded by as many as 5,000 ads per day telling us what we need to be happy, meditation helps reclaim our mental space. A 2009 study published in Social Indicators showed that when people practice mindfulness meditation, they are more aware of the decisions they make. Most importantly, the study found meditation, “undercuts the equation between well-being and material accumulation.”
The Payoff That’s it: Automate Wait Regulate Meditate You might be surprised at how quickly these four steps can not only help you save money fast, but improve your quality of life as well!
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