2017–The Year Of The Master

Making the decision and implementing a plan to save your money can be incredibly gratifying. Whether it’s a savings plan to buy a portion of a life-long dream, an upgrade of an existing asset, or to improve your general living conditions and circumstances, saving money feels great because it entails–and requires–a mastery over your resources.

We all have spending patterns that either serve us or let us down. Ditto for our coping mechanisms when confronted with bill and credit card payments. Do you tackle your bills with gusto and get them out of the way or do your bills usually land in the “I’m too stressed out right now, I’ll look at it later” pile? In our day-to-day lives, all but the most self-aware and meticulous of us have money-leeches or imaginary drains that we wash our money down for no better reason than we didn’t take the time to find a cheaper internet provider, lower mortgage rate, etc. Becoming a Savings Master requires having a clear idea of what we think about money and how we feel about it. Once we’re able to sort out where our thoughts and our behaviors contradict each other we can put a stop to self-defeating patterns such as buying things that we don’t need, don’t use, will never wear, or do not provide us any real satisfaction or value. We become far more clear and streamlined.

If you’re looking for a starting point, here are some ideas that can help you regain your financial freedom. Ask yourself these questions:

Can you set aside a bit of time to shop around for the cheapest veterinarian, internet provider, best hydro, water, mortgage rate?

  • Is there any way you could save on heating/cooling costs, cut down on water use?
  • Can you carpool or take public transit?
  • Have you ever purchased anything second hand, through a classified ad or garage sale? Among other household treasures you can usually find great kids toys, bikes at a steal.
  • Is it essential to buy brand name groceries? Many generic brands are comparable. Except for the token item most people can’t tell the difference in taste.
  • Will you wear that outfit or those clothes more than fifteen times? Is it really worth buying in the long run? If the answer is yes then buy it but if not then don’t.
  • Do you really need to eat out as often as you do?
  • Is there any way that you could re-structure or consolidate your debt?

You also have the option of making more money to save:

Find an extra source of income, another job.

  • Some companies offer the opportunity to work overtime and will pay well for it, as they are required by law.
  • Some employers have stock purchase plans and you can designate a certain amount of money to be put aside each paycheck to purchase the company stock. Some employers will even add a percentage to the amount you put in out of their pocket.

You can invest directly:

Open an investment savings Provided by various financial institutions, they can be either registered or non-registered and provide greater stability than mutual funds and stocks.

  • Buy mutual funds or stocks.These can be managed by a portfolio manager at a financial institution or by you online if you choose one of many available websites.
  • Do online trading of Forex and various financial instruments. CMC Markets features a demo trading account so you can try it first without using real money until you’re knowledgeable about the process.

Some of these suggestions are fairly obvious, hopefully they will make you feel challenged to implement them because the difference they can make is tremendous. Certain habits are hard to break. However, making changes require changing what we do and how we feel about the things we do. Sometimes we are called upon to open ourselves up to new processes that are unexpectedly delightful to learn and be a part of. Through the initiation of these processes we can become Savings Masters.