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Financial Finesse: >Learning To Think Like A Savvy Saver

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By Mia Bolaris-Forget

In a society that promotes a variety of individual freedoms, very few things in life are actually free. In fact, our economic freedoms that provide us with capital gains are the most notorious culprit behind our self imposed capital punishment as we individually and collaboratively dig ourselves deeper and deeper into debt we should never have incurred, because we simply can’t afford it.

Try as we might, we simply can’t save ourselves from spending. The barrage of advertisements and subliminal messages that have us equating happiness, and life accomplishment with material acquisitions have become increasingly more and more prevalent and more a WAY or life than a special “reward” in life to celebrate our hard work, ambition and accomplishment. In a society that wants instant gratification, with a mentality that bigger is better, the only thing that hasn’t gotten bigger over the past few decades is our bank accounts and savings.

Think about it, offspring of the baby boom and “hippie” generation have grown up as probably the least deprived youth to date, with grandiose expectations of the ability to attain and enjoy it all. Yet, they are also the generation that has frequently been the least “successful” into transitioning into “the real world”. Decent jobs have become increasingly more unattainable, rents, mortgages, vehicles and the cost of living more unaffordable, yet despite putting off moving out, getting married, and starting families (until some ideal level of security is reached) the average expected standard of living has gone up.

According to financial experts, the same way we’ve “put-off” other things in life, we’ve also “put-off” the idea of saving. From the most average to the most average, North Americans are inclined to spend more than they earn and live in debt.

Experts note that saving is a mindset and an art form. In order to be a saver, you must think like one and adopt not only the mentality but also the lifestyle. Furthermore, they add, that for past generations, this mentality was a “given”. The primary philosophy was save now, so “maybe” we can enjoy later. Today, our philosophy is spend and enjoy now and “maybe” we’ll be able to pay later. While we, as a society, know we have to change, experts not that for many change only occurs after dire consequences, such as hitting rock bottom.

Financial experts advise anyone out on their own, married, single, or otherwise; young, middle-aged, or mature frequently examine their finances. Consider what you have, what you earn, what you spend and where you will be in 10 or 20 years if your financial situation remains the same, and your spending habits don’t change, especially if you factor in inflation and increased cost of living over the next 10 to 20 years. You may find that you’ll be struggling well into your family and retirement years, and compromising on the quality of life you were hoping to enjoy.

Experts assert that it’s essential to achieve balance. You certainly don’t want to completely deprive yourself (yourselves) of fun and luxuries, but you do want plan ahead for the future. They say, start by dedicating yourself to making positive and beneficial changes. Although that doesn’t always mean living within the absolute confines of a budget, you may want to reassess your financial goals and the route to achieving them.

Setting goals, according to experts is essential because it gives you something (tactile) to focus on and work toward. Furthermore, they note, that saving towards a goal is often much more rewarding than simply saving for savings sake, there’s actually compensation for your efforts.

Next, experts suggest understanding your spending habits. Focus on what you are spending on and when. They assert that many of us isolate ourselves from our spending, something that’s easy to do with “instant” money via credit, which doesn’t make the expenditure seem as “real’ as using actual currency.

Authorities suggest keeping a spending diary and logging all dispersements and outlays and the circumstances involved. By reviewing where, when, and how you spend money you will be able to see if you are spending necessarily or un-necessarily and you will be able to make assessments and adjustments accordingly.

Long Island Investment Tips Articles > Financial Finesse: >Learning To Think Like A Savvy Saver

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