Saving on a Tight Budget Part 1


The Bible teaches us many things. It teaches us wisdom. It teaches us about relationships. It teaches us the way of Christ, and most importantly, it serves as a play-book for every day living as a Catholic Christian.

Reading the Bible is one thing and living the Bible is another.  The only way we can live what we learn in the Bible is to have discipline.  Without discipline, we cannot expect to grow in our faith, and our love and understanding of Jesus. Discipline will also help us understand the relationship between earthly things, such as money and possessions, and our spiritual life.

One of the core messages of Compass Catholic Ministries is centered around being a disciplined saver. In tight economic times, saving can be an immense challenge, so we are often asked by our readers and listeners how we can start saving on a tight budget.  Below are a few savings tips you may want to consider.

Keep The Change
One of the easiest ways to build up savings quickly is to keep your change.  If you make a small purchase, for example, at a convenience store and the total is $1.22, pay with two one-dollar bills. Pocket the change, then put it in your piggy bank each evening. You’d be surprised how much this practice can yield you at the end of the year, even as much as a few hundred dollars.

Go Green
Using a credit card makes it too easy to spend more than you should.  In fact, you can easily spend 18 to 33% more by using a credit card instead of simply using cash.  Keeping cash in your wallet or purse helps you see how much you actually DO have or DON’T have, as the case may be and will control those impulse purchases. Once the money is gone, your shopping trip is at its end.

Use a Wish List
We all have things we want. That shiny new curved 88-inch television would look amazing in your family room, or perhaps that designer purse caught your eye at the outlet mall last week.  In order to save money, resist the wants and focus on the needs.  We’re not saying you can never reward yourself, but do it in a disciplined way.

Here’s a tip that works well for many people.  Take a note card and write down the product that you are ‘wishing for.’ Write down the date and get three prices for the item.  At the end of 90 days, pull that note card out and see if it’s still something you want. If it is, and if you have the money in your budget, you can make the purchase. BUT if something else pops up that you want during the 90 days, cross off the first item, enter the second item with the date, get three prices and start the 90 day countdown clock again.

Freeze It
If you’re having a hard time “Letting Go” of credit cards and debt and interest fees are preventing you from reaching your savings goal, try this simple trick.  Place your credit card(s) in a baggie; seal the baggie; put it a bowl of water and pop the whole thing into the freezer. This makes those cards essentially impossible to get at spontaneously and could help you build up your savings account. Of course, the other, much more permanent trick is plastic surgery—cut those little devils up into a million pieces.

Start a Journal
This last tip is very useful but requires some enhanced discipline.  Keep a running journal of everything you are buying on a daily basis.  If you stop for a slurpee at the local 7-11 daily or run your little ones through the Chick-Fil-A drive through after school each day, keep track of it.  Take a look at the journal at the end of the month, and we’re pretty sure you’ll be amazed to find out how much those small purchases can add up. This eye opening experience can help you find ways to save that you may have never thought of.

Discipline is at the very core and root of a savings plan. “At the time, all discipline seems a cause not for joy but for pain, yet later it brings the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who are trained by it.” Hebrews12:11.

We hope that these tips help you achieve your personal savings goal.  If we can ever be of any assistance with Catholic money management, please don’t hesitate to contact us.  Check out our website where you can find many more financial tools to help you save and budget.

Thanks for reading and if you find this information helpful, please share it with a friend who could benefit from it.

The Beans.

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