How to Take the Sting Out of Spending Less

Budget. For most of us, that word is synonymous with diet. It elicits a feeling of cutting back or
deprivation. Honestly, who likes to feel deprived?! However, budgeting your money can
actually be one of the most liberating experiences. The experts at Vickney & Associates cover
some ways you can take the sting out of spending less and saving more (It’s the monetary
version of having your cake and eating, it too.).

10 Ways to Save Smarter, Not Bigger

There are nearly 100 ways you can budget and save money, but the Vickney Team picked 10
they feel are most effective:

1. Retire it. The best way to save instantly, painlessly, and tax-free is to deduct a
designated amount from your paycheck into a 401(k) or other retirement account.

2. Save automatically. The same convenient method you use for automatic payments can
be used for automatic savings. Have a portion of your paycheck linked to a savings
account each pay period, or have funds transferred automatically from your checking to
savings each month.

3. Remember 50/30/20. Spend approximately 50% of your after-tax income on necessities;
no more than 30% on things you want; and at least 20% on savings or paying off debt.

4. List and cut. Make a list of all your fixed expenses (rent/mortgage, car payment, utility
bills, gym memberships, Netflix, etc.) and arrange them from largest amount to
smallest. Cut one or two from this list right away, because you don’t need everything

5. Consolidate debt. Save on high interest charges from multiple credit card bills by
consolidating your debt to one account. If you have good credit, most credit card
companies offer 0% interest for 12 months.

6. Go account shopping. Many banks offer fee-free accounts, sign-on cash bonuses, and
other incentives for opening an account. Take advantage of these offers, as well as a
chance to find the best saving account for your money.

7. Used over new. What loses 20% of its value in seconds? A brand-new car you drive off
the lot. There are plenty of reliable, slightly used cars that save you the stress and hassle
of a hefty monthly car payment.

8. Live comfortably. Do you really need to live in the biggest house your bank loan can
buy? Live more within your means so you don’t saddle yourself with a mortgage that’s
too much for you to comfortably afford.

9. Wait 30 days. This can be tough if you’re impulsive but give yourself 30 days to decide
on a new purchase. Often that month is all you need to let the spending urge pass and
realize if this purchase is truly worth it.

10. Drink water. We’re not off our rocker here: this is an excellent way to be healthier and
stop the nickel-and-dime nonsense of buying frivolous beverages. Carry a refillable
water bottle with you and limit the times you buy your favorite coffee drink, soda pop,
or cocktail at restaurants and stores.

Need Help Beyond Financial Budgeting and Savings?

The accounting and tax professionals at Vickney & Associates offer real financial solutions to
people and businesses throughout Southeastern Wisconsin. Read our FAQs to learn more about
your financial health, then call us at 262-673-6322 to set up an appointment.