Too often we see change as a mountain, and we neglect to take even the first step. The truth is- a little change over a long time can get you a long way. We like talking about the idea of a 1% change. When it comes to money there are several little 1% steps you can take which will eventually add up to more prosperity and security in your future. Here are four suggestions:
- Every time you get a raise, add that raise to your monthly saving, investing or extra payments toward debt. Say you make $40,000 per year and you get a 3% raise this year. That’s $1,200. To keep things simple, let’s ignore taxes for a moment and say you get $100 more a month. Consider using that $100 for financial progress rather than seeing it as $100 more dollars you can spend.
- Try not to make any same-day purchases. Instead of a quick run to a convenience store for something last minute, plan out to buy everything you need ahead of time at the best store, for the best price. This is especially important in the day and age we live in with online shopping. I have a friend who never buys anything the same day on Amazon, he puts it in his cart, sleeps on it and after two days he’ll look at again and really consider whether he wants, but most importantly needs that purchase.
- Pay yourself first. As Americans we pay everyone else first- we pay the water bill, cable bill, heating bill and then it comes to the end of the month and there’s nothing left for us. Reverse this. This will require you to budget and know how much you can afford to save so you can eat and pay your bills, but it will make saving a priority.
- Try a one-month financial detox. I have friends who do Whole 30’s every few months. They don’t eat anything with added sugar, carbs or anything processed. They say, after finishing the Whole 30 that they feel great and they look at food completely differently. A financial detox works the exact same way. For a short period of time, say a month, you sit back and look at your budget asking the question, “what do I actually NEED to spend money on?” Then you cut out everything you don’t absolutely need for an entire month. You clearly need to pay your bills and eat but maybe not eating out, getting coffee on the way into work or shopping for clothes as an example. This detox resets how you see money, which is super healthy in the long run.
Remember, it doesn’t matter how big the step is that you take, the most important thing is that you start.