10/31/2013 6:00:00 AM PRACTICAL SAVER: Get into the 'Spend Less, Live More' mindset
KARA ROZENDAAL Courier Columnist
I am thankful for the ability to teach others practical ways to spend less and still enjoy an abundant lifestyle. I call this a "Spend Less, Live More" way of life. But in a world filled with fabulous entertainment options, mind-blowing technology, and internet shopping at your fingertips, embracing the "Spend Less, Live More" lifestyle can be challenging.
It helps to develop certain perspectives that will empower you to stay on track. Today, we will focus on the big picture of having the right mindset and motivation to find fun in doing more for less. Then, next week, we will explore this concept in greater detail.
To begin, your focal point is key. It is helpful to develop a mindset that concentrates on the positive aspect of what you "get" rather than agonizing over what you have to "give up"; Focus on what you can do rather than focus on what you can't do. This type of lifestyle isn't one of doing without, but doing things creatively to reach your goals. You can still have your favorite name-brand jeans, for example, but they can be purchased at a consignment shop instead of new retail. My philosophy has always been that once you buy something new, it is "used" by day 2 anyway.
Finding creative alternatives to spending money, without giving up what you want, can be as simple as using coupons or watching sales and store incentives. You can still have the items you desire, using the coupons and promotions to keep the purchase within your budget. For example, shopping for a better cellphone plan is just one way of finding an alternative to obtain what you desire. You can still enjoy a cellphone, but, with a little extra effort and research, also maintain your budget.
A second focus that will help you to make the lifestyle switch is to decide upon a goal that motivates you. One example of a motivating goal is a vacation. The dream of enjoying a trip with your family can be a powerful motivator. Other ideas to focus on are working toward buying a new home, acquiring a new car or affording a home remodel. Simply having less financial tension by reducing debt is also a driving force for many households. Many families are buried under debt. The debt may have originated from an emergency that was out of their control, but the lasting financial impact can be painful. I encourage you to take the time to find your motivator and then use that goal as the focus of your dedication to spend less and live more.
A third helpful mindset is to regard saving money as a game. Learn to find enjoyment in being innovative and creative with your money. Then, take pleasure in your success when you "beat the system" and find that incredible deal. It is truly a daily competition to find the fun in getting all that you want and have money left in the bank when you are done. The words of Mary Poppins apply to this: "In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. Find the fun, and snap, the job's a game."
Saving money is a game that we have no choice but to win! It is necessary to focus on what we can have and not agonize over what we think we can't have. We need to find our motivation and remain focused on it for all of our spending. It is an energizing game that you can win - I am sure of it!
To learn more tips, attend the free "Spend Less, Live More" class 6 p.m. Nov. 12 at Heights Church in Prescott. Also, check out next week's column, in which I will explain more specific ideas on how you can get more out of life by finding alternative ways to afford what you desire.
Kara Rozendaal's website, www.PracticalSaver.com, helps make shopping simple and savings possible.