Simple Tips to Change Your Financial Behavior

Americans have a renewed interest in all things frugal during this recession.  They’re spending less money, using credit cards less. 

About ½ of Americans report they either avoid shopping altogether or shop only for those things that are absolutely needed, according to a survey sponsored by Citi.  72% of Americans say they have cut back on everyday expenses. 

In addition, 80% claim to have at least a plan for income and expenses, up from 47% in 2006, according to a survey by Synovate commissioned by personal finance author Matt Bell

Since consumer debt peaked in 2008, Americans have chopped $922 million from their debt, or 7.4%, according to the Federal Reserve.  Americans are reducing debt at a pace unseen in at least a decade, according to a recent Fed report.

 How do we make these changes? 

Change your words – instead of a temporary exercise in deprivation, view it as a lifestyle. 

Have goals – “I’ll pass on purchasing this item because I want to go on vacation in June.” 

Track Progress – Monitor your debts and vacation accounts.  When you see that spending smart is getting you closer to accomplishing your goal, that’ll motivate you to keep going. 

Make savings automatic – The easiest way to save is to have your savings deposited automatically from your paycheck to a savings or retirement plan

Make a windfall rule – When you receive a sudden increase of cash (i.e. tax refund, bonus, gift); make it a rule that these are used to paying off high-interest debt or savings.

 Source: RIS Media

Enhanced by Zemanta