Ok, so it’s been a few days since my last post about how to save money, this is the follow up with some well honed, practical tips that you can follow on your way to getting better control of your finances.  It’s late on a Friday afternoon, so let’s keep it brief so you can fit it in between drinks at the bar.  I guess you can call this:

MoneyDad’s Top 5 Tips on How To Save Money

  1. Make life difficult for yourself.  While everything in this world is about making things easy, having easy and ready access to our money is not always a good thing.  Cut up the credit card, limit your electronic banking.  Cancel your paypal account (ok, that’s a bit extreme, but think of all those spontaneous eBay purchases that you wouldn’t be making)!  Leave all your cards somewhere safe and start the week with a certain amount of cash and only get more out next week.  If you run out of money, starve.
  2. Remind yourself that you’re saving.  I got a client to do this a few years ago, and it worked wonders.  I got some masking tape (thin, 18mm) and put it across their credit card and wrote “Do I really need it?”.  Two things happened.  They were embarassed to use the card (which means they didn’t use it) and when they did buy things, they often found themselves putting things back when they thought – “actually, I don’t need this”.
  3. If you bank allows, set up a daily or weekly text or email with your account balance.  Knowing how much you’ve got in the bank is like having a fuel gauge.
  4. Mix this one with number 3 – make sure your account never has too much in it.  Some banks allow auto sweeping of your account – hit $5,000 and the next day it will take anything over $5,000 out of your account and shift it to a savings account.  Better yet, split your salary goes partially into your spendings and the rest to a different bank for savings.  If you never feel rich, you’ll never act like you are
  5. Now, sit down and have a glass of wine and wait for part three!