7 Money-Saving Tips You Can Apply in 2023 (That Your Grandma Would Approve)
It’s safe to say that grandmas have seen things in life.
Like, a lot.
Although it’s not written in stone, most live up to 80 years old.
That means grandmas were there during the Great Depression and World War I and II.
So, don’t roll your eyes if your nan asks you to sit with her for a heart-to-heart chat this Christmas eve.
Instead, listen to her stories about how she brought her Craftsman-style house at the same price that would get you an iPhone 14 today.
This is especially true if you, let’s say, can’t be trusted with money.
But your gran certainly can be.
After all, how else does she manage to give you a cash-filled envelope on your birthday?
Well, to tell you the secret of every grandma, they’ve been following money-saving tips since they can’t even remember.
And this practice goes way back – when Babylon existed. From there, the strategies evolved, but the crux remained the same: implementing key wealth principles in your life.
In his book The Richest Man in Babylon, author George S. Clason sheds light on those financial principles in a way that makes it easy to apply in the modern world.
The chances are, your granny must have read the book a few times; it was released in 1926, after all.
So, before the Christmas Special Discounts force you to go on a shopping spree, let’s make sure you know the secrets to keep your wealth growing.
Spend Only on What’s Needed
At some point in your life, you must have noticed that your grandma has been using the same crockery, furniture, and even clothes.
And this has been happening for quite some time.
Though you might be quick to raise an objection to her frugality, she’ll have a different point of view.
When your grandma buys things, it’s not because she saw her favorite celebrity wearing them.
No, the reason is that she didn’t feel the need to keep up with the latest styles.
Instead, she only bought stuff when she needed it.
And that’s exactly what you should do.
If you’re not sure how, here’s a good start:
- Make a list of your wants and needs.
- Avoid giving in to temptations.
- Set aside a budget at the beginning of every month.
- Embrace a minimalist lifestyle.
- Make detailed financial goals.
It might seem impossible, but you can be careful with money and still enjoy your life.
Build an Additional Stream of Income
Most of us are stuck in a ‘work, earn, spend’ rut.
And to some extent, it works.
However, you’re only able to make ends meet with that income. And when you fall short of that, you have no choice but to dip into your savings account.
For that reason, it’s important that you don’t rely on your income only; instead, find ways to earn extra income.
If you ask your nan about this, she probably would still be enrolled in a side gig, like pet-sitting, online teaching, or simply renting out one of her spare rooms.
And building an additional stream of income for a young person should be even easier.
There are plenty of jobs that don’t take up much of your time but can help you earn some bucks, like:
- Online surveys
- Freelance writing
- Virtual assistant
These jobs don’t require you to possess extraordinary skills, and you can do them part-time.
Set Financial Objectives for Yourself
In his book The Richest Man in Babylon, George S. Clason narrates the story of Arkad, who, despite spending moderately on his own life and significantly on charities, kept his wealth growing.
A key point of his lesson was to ‘Invest in Yourself.’ And by that, he didn’t mean unnecessarily going to a lavish spa or purchasing a top that’ll end up somewhere deep in your closet.
It emphasized setting long-term financial goals, like saving for a house or going on a world tour.
Working towards an objective will keep your spending habits in check; every time you’re tempted to spend on something unnecessary, your mind will remind you about the goal.
How else do you think your grandparents were able to build a successful life not for just them but, like, their 11 children?
It all boils down to being financially literate, which refers to developing relevant skills to help you save, invest, and spend money.
Since it’s impossible to become financially literate overnight, these tips can help you nudge in the right direction:
- Develop an effective budget plan.
- Work on building your credit score.
- Keep depositing an amount in your savings accounts.
- Be prepared for things not to work your way.
- Make use of resources at your disposal, like podcasts or courses.
Build an Emergency Fund
Emergencies don’t announce their arrival. But you’re left with little time to think when they do occur. And if you don’t take action on time, the results could be disastrous.
Grandmas think this through, which is probably why they’re more than willing to offer money in an unfortunate case of an accident.
You should learn a thing or two from them and build an emergency fund; The Richest Man in Babylon says the same.
The book delves even deeper and suggests to:
- Invest in compound interest
- Deposit an amount in your insurance portfolio frequently
- Buy houses/lands with the intention of selling them for profit
While these are great investment opportunities, remember, that’s not your end goal here; you should save them for a rainy day.
This way, you’d make it through emergencies without drowning yourself in loans.
Preserve Your Wealth
Protecting your wealth doesn’t mean you should lock it in a safe and throw the key in the river.
In today’s digital era, it’s very simple to fall for financial scams.
Preserving your finance means steering clear of swindlers and only investing money where you know it won’t go to waste.
With that said, it’s impossible to know which venture would yield profits.
Luckily, there’s a solution for that. Actually, there are plenty:
- Research the investment opportunity thoroughly
- Invest a small amount if you’re unsure whether you’ll earn a profit
- Learn from those who have invested, regardless of whether they lost the amount or earned a profit
- Move forward with the investment only if you have enough capital to bounce back
- Avoid financially helping others if you’re already on thin ice
When it’s about money, it’s okay to take a selfish; you can only help others if you are financially stable.
Take Accountability for Your Actions
George S. Clason narrates the story of a Babylonian man who used to spend more than he earned. Consequently, there came a time when he had to take debt from people he could not pay back.
He had no choice but to become the lenders’ slave.
And it was only after becoming a slave he realized his mistakes.
But he was determined to change his life – and he did.
The man worked hard, took responsibility for his finances, and eventually freed himself by becoming a camel trader.
There’s a lot to learn from this story, but the main takeaway is that you’re always one decision away from changing your life.
You just have to be so steadfast in your resolution that nothing can shake you.
So, don’t lose hope if you’ve made bad financial decisions.
Just admit that you were wrong and start afresh.
Put a Limit on Your Credit Card (Or Better Yet, Freeze It)
Have you ever heard your grandma say, “I’ll Venmo some money to you”?
She always hands out cash to you.
Your granny understands that credit cards are nothing but shiny objects that lure you into spending money on things you don’t need.
That’s why, if you have a credit card, put a spending limit on it; there are many local banks that offer this service.
And those who don’t trust themselves with money, like, at all go one step further and freeze their credit cards.
Some may argue it’s a bit extreme, but hey, if it stops you from spending impulsively, then that’s a step you have to take.
Saving money can be difficult. Even more so if you have a habit of spending more than you earn.
Fortunately, the tips mentioned in the blog are a good start. Whether you felt inspired by the grandma strategies or the Babylon techniques, it’s never too early to start saving.