In today’s society, it seems like everyone is living a more complex life than they once did. They have so many things and services and each one of them costs money. If you are like many people, you feel a little bit overloaded with all of the things that there are to do and wish that you could simplify your life a bit. If so, there are some specific steps that you can take to live simply and save more money.
Look at Your Finances
The first thing that you need to do is take a look at your finances. Print out your online bank statement for the last three months and start going over it as with a fine toothed comb. Look at the things that you spend money on every month or every week. Divide your expenses up into categories. For example, break the expenses up into groceries, restaurants, entertainment, gas and any other category that you can think of.
Cut Out Unnecessary Items
After you have begun looking at your expenses, try to determine which expenses are not completely necessary. Almost everyone could stand to cut out a few regular expenses that they pay for. For example, do you really watch the online streaming movie or TV service that you pay for every month? Do you ever take the time to watch any of those premium channels that you pay for on your cable or satellite subscription? What about the highest speed Internet connection that you pay for every month? Many people pay too much for features on their cell phones that they don’t necessarily need.
Don’t Try to Keep Up With the Joneses
Many people in today’s society get caught up in the phenomenon of trying to keep up with the Joneses. This means that they are always trying to buy the latest toys and gadgets to make sure that they are keeping up with everyone else. If you will get over this now, your life will be a lot simpler and will be able to save quite a bit of money. Instead of having to buy the latest and greatest things, learn to enjoy the things you already have. Do you really need to buy a new cell phone when the one you have does everything that you want it to do? Are those extra megapixels really going to make that much of a difference on the new camera that you just have to buy? If you can get over this now, it has the potential to change your life.
Feeling overwhelmed because of the number of accounts that you have open is also a common occurrence today. Instead of having five different credit cards and three different bank accounts, simplify your life by getting rid of some of those accounts. You really only need one credit card, a savings account and a checking account. If you can cut down the accounts, you will have fewer statements to deal with anyone have to transfer money around to make sure that everything is covered.
Get Rid of Addictions
Are you addicted to anything right now? Do you smoke or drink regularly? If so, try to cut out these activities and you will be able to save quite a bit of money over the course of a year. Buying a pack of cigarettes is more expensive than ever and the prices probably are not going to go down anytime soon. If you can avoid these habits, you won’t have to stop what you’re doing and go out and buy the things you need a few times per week.
Peter Thompson is a corporate accountant and guest writer at Top Colleges Online, a site with guides and information to the most affordable online associates degrees.