If you are like most of America, finding ways to save more and spend less is a challenging task. Sometimes all it takes is a creative solution to change your behavior.
Turn yourself into a vendor. Each month when paying your bills, present yourself a savings invoice. Then when bills are paid, your bill to yourself pops up. Pay the savings account bill by sending a check to a specially marked savings account.
Pay with cash. Each month pre-determine what you will spend out of your paycheck for core items like food and entertainment. Place the funds in envelopes. When the cash is gone, so is your spending money for the month.
Put your credit cards into deep freeze. Don’t want to cut your credit card in half? Try putting it in the freezer instead. Place your credit card in a sealed water-tight plastic freezer bag. Place the bag in a container and fill it with water. Stick it in your freezer. Put an expiration date on the bag for thawing. Caution: This idea won’t help you with internet purchases.
Put your bank on an island. Open a savings account in a bank that is inconvenient for you. Make your deposits by mail, but do not set up internet connectivity to the account. Choose a location that makes you plan for a visit to make withdrawals. This should slow down your desire to use these funds.
Make it a game show. On large purchases, conduct research to identify your desired brand and model. Then play “Let’s Make a Deal” by negotiating with different suppliers to get the best possible price. Or try the “Price is Right”, by shopping around for your common supplies to purchase at a lower price point.
Multiply your brain. For the next few months, never spend money or pay bills alone. Have your significant other or a friend pay bills with you and shop with you. This added spending awareness and additional voice may help rethink old spending habits.