Monday, June 24

How to Get Rich...

Would you like to know the secret to getting rich? I'll tell you my opinion. I may not be qualified to write this post, as I most certainly am not rich by the world's standard, but I have learned a thing or two about saving money--especially since I've been married. Here are some good tips and changes that are easy to make:

Don't spend more than you earn.
Duh. This seems so obvious, but it is a real challenge for many people who were raised with their parents taking care of everything for them. Keep track of how much you earn and delegate how much of that income will be put toward your basic needs, how much will go into savings, and how much will be left over. This is the most basic budgeting skill and is essential if you truly want to save money. 

Don't go into unnecessary debt. 
Sure school is expensive, but as long as you are saving to pay off school loans, you won't be in debt forever. Make that payment your priority. Save up and pay it off as quick as you can. We are trying to save up to pay Dalin's student loan off by graduation. Fortunately, we have been able to earn scholarships to help us save money. The same advice applies to homes and cars. You may have to settle for less before you can save up for something better. 

If you don't, it's going to be really hard to save money. Limit yourselves to going out once a week. Choose free date alternatives as often as you can. If you are the type who likes to splurge, try this simple solution--don't go out. If you don't want to spend money, don't go to the store. That has helped us save SO much money these last two years. If you love shopping and stopping completely is difficult for you, only carry a tiny bit of cash when you go. Leave your credit or debit cards at home. Pretend you're back in middle school or high school when $20 was all you had. 

Search for deals. 
Paying full price for anything is not very wise. Most things always go on sale at some time or another. Especially with clothing, shoes, and items for the home. If you want to be really thrifty, practice good shopping habits by making lists and searching for coupons or special deals on groceries and home products. Check Groupon and other money-saving sites. You would be surprised at the many ways you can find deals and discounts when you take a few minutes to look. I will admit, I always look for deals when it comes to clothing, but I have not yet gotten into the habit of seeking the best deals while grocery shopping. I attribute this to lack of time, but really it would be worth doing it to save even $15 a grocery trip. Something for me to work on. 

Avoid credit cards. 
I am far from an expert on credit cards, but I do know that everyone mistakenly seems to believe they must have one. Establishing credit is good when the time comes to buy a home or car, but it is not the only way. If you do have a credit card, make monthly payments on time and do not exceed your limit. Dalin and I prefer to use a debit card. We know where the money is coming from (straight from our checking account), and this prevents us from spending an unreasonable amount. Because we are leasing our car, we make monthly payments (ON TIME!) which helps us establish credit. If we need to, we can borrow our parents' credit to get a home when we find ourselves wanting to settle down. The point is, credit cards are okay if you know you can afford to make the payments. 

Save, save, save. Put as much money as you can into the bank. Have a stash at home for emergencies. Put money in separate envelopes or jars to go toward specific trips, vacations, or other fun activities. Plan out what you are saving for and a rough estimate of how much you need. I usually find that rounding up when considering how much you think you will need is safer. 

I love the quote by Anne Frank: "No one ever became poor by giving [too much]." How true! I also believe that giving to those in need blesses your life and, in turn, you will have more. I would rather be rich in blessings than money any day. 

Pay tithing. 
Heavenly Father gives us everything we have. We are only required to give 10% of it back to him. I would say that's fair. Especially considering the many blessings we receive as reward for our obedience to this simple commandment. It is one of the only commandments we can truly be perfect in.

All of these things combined will help you. Like I said, I am no expert--and I could stand to follow my own advice a little better--but I know that there is nothing better than being self-sufficient and feeling truly free from financial burdens. 
How do you save money? 
What are your best tips that I could use?

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