It’s no secret inflation is noticeably rampant where we shop today. But this is a global problem everyone is trying to deal with and need to get a handle on.
There are no easy fixes or simple answers. But we can do something at our household level, on a daily basis, to minimize the impact and damage to our bank accounts.
We need to change our mindset when it comes to spending and saving.
Apply SMARTS when it comes to your money:
S – save when you can. Skim where it’s absolutely necessary. There is no need to keep up with the Joneses. One does not need a premium cellphone plan or a new phone every 3 years.
M – maintain discipline. Do not splurge when you don’t have the means … yet. Get into the habit of delayed gratification. Refrain from buying a meal when you can make your own. Another pair of new shoes is not a necessity of life.
A – assess alternatives. Change brands, downsize, DIY’s are all options to consider … for now.
R – re-evaluate your lifestyle. Can your household get by on one car instead of two? Or from one to none if you live in an urban centre. Just remember, the average cost of operating a vehicle today (insurance, gas, repairs, parking, depreciation) is over $10,000.
T – track your spending. It’s cumbersome but necessary if you want to properly manage your money. You can’t save if you can’t see where your money is going. Luckily today, there are many online money tracking tools and apps to help simplify this task.
S – sum up your savings. If you can track the progress on what you’ve saved (no matter how small) by being aware of your spending, you can consider this a success that’s worth repeating. For example, by not splurging on that take-out coffee daily (to just twice a week), you probably can save $15 per week, or $780 a year. Add public transit instead of driving to work 3 times a week can probably further your savings by $50 per week, or $2,500 a year. Sum them up and you’ll realized they can add thousands of dollars to your savings account.
So go ahead, give SMARTS on money a try. In your future when looking back, you’ll be glad you did.