Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Money Saving Tips: Eliminate Baggage from your life

Over at NCN, a popular post has been the compilation of money saving tips from all over the blogosphere. To keep up with the Smith's and the Jones', I thought I would go ahead and post as well.

On Sunday, I talked about the "Ancient" Portfolio theory and how important it was to look at the choices you are making and determine to life simply and not strive for luxury you can't afford. This is my biggest money saving tip (perhaps its a philosophy really): Eliminate baggage from your life.

Here at Smiths Trading Post, my goal is to help people figure out the habits that they need to pick up, and the items in their life that need jettisoned. Let me explain. By eliminating or significantly reducing vices in our life, whether that be alcohol, cigarrettes, or an addiction to Starbucks lattes. MSN had an article on vices awhile back that itemized the costs of some of these, and revealed that they can reach in the thousands of dollars. A $2.50 latte every workday may not seem like a lot, winds up being over $500 in a year. Maybe you'll decide that you don't really need cable television - perhaps you can save $300 a year. Perhaps you'll eat home one more time at home in a week - for a couple of two at $20 a meal, that would save you almost $1000.

Essentially, taking stock in this way forces us to evaluate our conceptions of what give us meaning - do I have to have cable in order to be happy? Will I really feel deprived if I buy a used car rather than a brand new one?

Just as the pioneers had to forge a new path for themselves, we are blazing the trail for our financial future. An just as they had to leave much of their former life behind, we have to leave much of our (hidden) passion for luxury on the side of the road. I'm not necessarily advocating a strict Spartan existence, but I do think most of us (me included) could take a rather critical view our lives and can find items that are holding us back from achieving the the goals we have set for ourselves.

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