This is a guest post by Patrick Bailey, one of our blog subscribers of JJJ Investing.
Every successful investor will tell you not to save for the sake of saving, but to save in order to invest. If you are new to serious saving, you may feel intimidated by the idea of changing your lifestyle to promote your financial future. This delayed gratification does pay off in the end, but your initial habit changes may feel uncomfortable until you see your dollars growing in the bank.
The best way to approach your savings through everyday actions is to start small and make the most value from what you already have. Once you begin these small actions, you will see more and more financial opportunities to invest based on your savings. Use these simple ideas to get started and increase your investing capital no matter where you are financially.
1. Do More at Home
Increasing your efforts at home can help you cut spending corners and enjoy the simple aspects of your daily life. If you are a busy professional who relies on quick meals out each day, you might find yourself bleeding money where you could otherwise be investing those extra $5-20 dollars a day. The benefits of homemade meals go beyond your wallet; you may also experience higher energy levels and feel lean along the way.
You can also save money by working out in your living room or home gym rather than taking expensive classes. Free online videos or workout inspiration are easy to find and can save you hundreds of dollars a month.
You can also experiment with home remedies for simple annoyances like stress or pimples (for example: avocado face masks or herbal teas) rather than spending excess money on store-bought products. Each of these habits can increase the amount of money you invest each month by the hundreds.
2. Reduce Unnecessary Spending
Taking an objective look at your unnecessary spending may feel uncomfortable at first. The discomfort can be positive if you are making changes to your lifestyle that will benefit your future self and your family over time. These changes can be subtle, with unnecessary spending sprinkled throughout your lifestyle, so do your best to be self-aware and address those opportunities when you see them.
Cutting down on excess spending can look like creating a monthly budget for yourself or cancelling subscriptions you do not use. You may consider setting an alcohol consumption limit or deciding only to eat meals at restaurants a few times each month. Excess spending can also show up in the clothing you buy or vacations you take, so think about how you can reduce excessive expenses in these areas without completely giving up what you love to do.
Reducing rather than completely eliminating these lifestyle choices is a powerful way to practice balance for your investing while still enjoying yourself in the present.
3. Maximize What You Already Have
The last effective investing habit is to maximize the value in things you already have and do. Your home is full of resources that can be used more in order to save money that you can invest instead. Take a look at your closet and remove any items you no longer wear. Companies such as Plato’s Closet will buy back gently used clothing and shoes, providing you with monetary value that was already sitting in your closet.
Search for new recipes you can try with cheap pantry items such as rice, quinoa, and pasta that you often overlook or buy in more expensive restaurants. Create all-purpose cleaners with simple ingredients like essential oils and apple cider vinegar, and reuse glass or plastic containers to create decorations or storage in your home. Making multiple uses of your existing resources will help you use your spending money on investments rather than new items you do not need.
Do your best to take a step back and look at saving and investing opportunities that already exist in your world. Your home and lifestyle are full of unnecessary expenses that add up over time, so spotting these will help you eliminate excess spending without even needing a major lifestyle change. Follow these easy ideas to maximize your resources and save your money so you can invest towards the best lifestyle for your future self.
— Patrick Bailey