Had to laugh at this recent comment on our Stamp Hustling post:
“It’s easier to hit a high savings rate when you’re underwater for 90-day patrols.”
Haha… It came from our retired submariner friend, Nords, who RACKED UP the money while out on deployments, and yet it highlights a pretty simple – but obvious! – point:
If you don’t have a way to spend your money, you can’t spend it!
Yet look at all the ways we make it SO EASY to get rid of our cash these days!
- Keeping 13 credit cards in our wallets
- Keeping a smartphone with access to every single store in the world on it
- Keeping c/c info automatically saved at these same stores
- Using Bank apps that give us access to our cash 24/7
- LOGGING ONTO AMAZON EVERY DAY!!!!
In fact, it’s so easy right now that you can even order a small robot in your house named “Alexa” to go buy it for you without having to bother yourself again. Or I should say – so your 6 y/o won’t ever have to bother himself again, if he was the first in your family to figure out this trick too (!!!).
Of course, the alternative of going off the grid wouldn’t make your life that much better either, so it’s always a fine balance between keeping the convenience of what technology offers these days, but with enough barriers to prevent yourself from spending off a cliff.
That is, at least if you’re the average consumer out there and not a reader of this blog ;)
Still, we could always use as many tips as we can get, and while I’m still trying to find all my own leaks to plug up here, here are a few I’ve either tried myself or have heard over the years that seem to bring people success. Maybe you have some to add to the list?
- Keep your savings at a separate bank miles away – and don’t sign up for online access. If there’s anything more annoying than spending too much, it’s having to go out of your way to get your own money in the first place! ;)
- Unlink all your bank info online (and your phone!) – to force you to think for a few moments before typing it all back in.
- Make all your passwords gobbelygook! To make the above even more annoying! [UPDATE: I don’t mean to *literally* make your passwords “gobbelygook”, I mean to make them all random #’s and letters so there’s no way you’ll memorize them for easy logging in ;)]
- Delete all shopping apps from your phone
- Only carry the amount of cash on you that you’ll need for that day’s expenses
- Cut up all your credit cards or hand them to a friend – who you trust ;)
- FREEZE your credit cards and use the thawing time to reflect on impending purchases
- And my latest favorite –> Never bring your phone to bed! Or even in the same room! Which I learned the hard way last night* as I got sucked into Ebay and dropped $50 in a fit of late-night excitement (despite my wife’s warnings that she “saw it in my eyes!”)
And there’s probably a million other barriers you can put in place too, depending on your level of need and comfort ;)
What’s important, though, is that you’re always experimenting and looking for those epiphanies! As you never know what stupid little hack will end up changing your life! Haha…
Did I tell you I started brushing my teeth at 8pm every night now? I randomly did it a year or so ago after brushing my kids’ before they went to bed, and then I found out how well it prevented me from snacking and drinking beers into all hours of the night! Because who wants to brush their teeth twice?!
So I’m telling you, you never know… Just gotta keep dabbling!
*In my defense of that Ebay splurge, I did just come across a small windfall after selling an old domain name last week ($1,250 – score!!) which I allotted a portion to “guilt-free” spending… Though I swear, no matter how hard I try I have yet to fully rid myself of that nasty feeling! Why is that?!