Save money this spring season

It’s spring! Well, that’s what the calendar says. However, it hasn’t really felt like spring in the Midwest. It has been cold, snowy, and rainy for almost all of April. But there is hope, because next week it is supposed be warmer. Although just a disclaimer, I’m saying this because a weather man forecasted it, so don’t yell at me if I’m wrong. Here are five ways to help you save dough when it does warm up.

1. Straight Cash Homie
I couldn’t help but place a Randy Moss quote into this, but that is because Randy is 100 percent correct. If there is definitely something people here do, it’s use cards. People are constantly purchasing goods with their credit/debit cards. Now, there is nothing wrong with this, but how many times do you pay attention to the money you just spent when you use your card? It isn’t too often that someone will feel their billfold/purse lose weight when they purchase something with their card. This leads to overspending and not budgeting correctly. I’m sure there have been a few times too many where someone went out for the night using their card and then realized the next morning they spent too much money. This problem can be easily avoided. Just use cash. Cash may be considered old fashioned, but you instantly feel how much money you just spent on a purchase. When someone uses cash to pay for a transaction, it’s harder to sense the loss. There is nothing wrong with using your card to pay for something, just keep in mind what you are spending.

2. Pay Yourself First
Almost everyone has a job, and they use the money from their job to pay their bills. What about paying yourself? You work hard to make the money to afford things that you need to pay, but you need to make money for YOU. Now, I don’t want this to be interpreted incorrectly. I am not suggesting that you spend money on that new car or gaming system. I am suggesting you save money. This quote is something I learned from a financial wizard –  my grandmother. When I got my first job she told me, “James, it is important to know what to do with your money. Sure, it’s nice to buy the things you want and have what everyone has. However, pay yourself first. Save money, and the future you will thank you.” Ever since then I have been trying my best to do this. Therefore, when that great moment known as payday rolls around, make sure to put a little aside for the future you.

3. Stick to the Plan
Overspending is a problem many of us can admit to. Even the best financial wizards can overspend from time to time. Many have had that feeling: “Sweet, it’s payday, and now to spend money.” It may not be like that for everyone, but sometimes, you just spend more than you should. It is important to prevent this from happening. The best thing you can do is make a budget. Make budgeting your paycheck be the first thing you do. Have a list of priorities that roll into this plan. Include paying your bills and yourself; I would put those at the top of list. The more you budget the less likely you are to overspend that cash.

4. No! God! Please! No!
Michael Scott is onto something here. Perhaps we can take this line from “The Office” and apply it to saving money. As it gets warmer, people are more likely to go out at night. It’s a great opportunity to have fun and be social. However, you shouldn’t feel obligated to go. It is okay to stay home and save money. Going out, whether it’s with friends or not, gives us this feeling that it’s okay to spend money. If you can master the art of just saying no you can save money. However, don’t lie to your friends about having stuff to do, be honest with them. No is a powerful word. Use it wisely.

5. Don’t Take Your Card to Town
If you’re someone who isn’t the greatest at saying no, or you really enjoy going out with your friends, perhaps this is for you. For those people who can’t get enough social adventures, leaving your card at home may be the right plan. If you leave your card at home,w you’re less likely to spend money you don’t want to. It would be best for you to take a little cash you can afford to spend, in case you need it.

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James Kappes is a sports columnist for The Lorian.

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