While saving money month-to-month is important, it’s always a good idea to take a step back and think outside the box. You can’t plan a trip to the emergency room in advance, after all. So to help you think outside the money-saving box, here are a few tips to help you transform your short term saving strategy into a long-term saving strategy.
Change Your Mindset
If you are conscious of your budget, you will soon discover that developing long term savings strategies comes down to adjusting your day to day habits. This is apparent in everything from your transportation to your habits at the grocery store. Anyone who is really invested in positively changing their financial landscape must first learn to change their attitudes about saving money through concrete choices. Of course, it’s not always easy. In fact, many choices that save you money in the long term may even be uncomfortable in the immediate moment. But if you set a goal and stick to it, you will find far more freedom and joy on the other side. Changing your mindset about money is a crucial part of making the kinds of positive choices that will put you in a better financial position for tomorrow, next week, next month, next year, and beyond.
Invest in Your Health
Going to the dentist might seem like a pain. But it’s important not only to your health but also to your long-term saving strategy! Regular visits to the dentist’s
office allow your dentist to monitor the health of your teeth and gums. This way, if there are any potential problems they can be halted before they become worse. Because as problems with your teeth get worse, you guessed it, they also tend to get more expensive.
In addition to visiting your doctor and dentist regularly, making sure you buy organic produce can help enhance nearly every aspect of your health and your long-term saving strategy. Though organic produce might have a higher price tag, you’re in this for the long haul. Fewer stomach issues mean fewer medical bills down the line. Eating lots of leafy greens, fruits, and lean proteins will also save you from a host of expensive medical problems associated with poor, unhealthy diets. Sometimes it’s tough to resist your cravings, so a cheat day is understandable from time to time. Just make sure you get back to eating healthy after a cheat day. Your body and your wallet will thank you!
A comprehensive approach to your health and well being is the most productive approach for anyone looking to maintain a long-term saving strategy. Rather than relying on visits to the doctor to solve every little ache and pain, it’s a good idea to practice healthy habits that prevent the kinds of medical issues that may lead to a doctor’s visit. As it turns out, things like eating healthy, getting regular exercise, and lowering your stress levels are critical pieces of any successful long-term saving strategy. By preventing any unnecessary medical bills through preventative maintenance, you free up large sums of money so they can stay safe and sound where they belong in your savings account.
Be Proactive About Home Maintenance
Maintaining your home is key to any long-term saving strategy. It’s true that you might not need dryer duct cleaning every six months, but it’s important to schedule regular inspections. If your ducts are clogged or dirty then you are likely paying far more than you need to be on your monthly utility bill. Because your ducts are so important in keeping the function of your equipment running as it should, it’s never wise to leave them unattended for too long. A visit from a company that specializes in ducts can save you from lots of huge expenses down the line.
The same goes for calling your HVAC company for your twice-yearly inspections. Efficient HVAC systems require maintenance inspections twice a year. When you’re proactive about maintaining your home, it’s less and less likely that you’ll need to call your plumbing company as a result of bad pipe care.
If you’re struggling to remember making certain maintenance calls and scheduling the necessary appointments, then you may find it helpful to make a schedule. Alternatively, you could automate your appointments by setting up reminders on your computer or smartphone. Even if it’s not fun at the time, keeping up on home maintenance is a key component of your long-term saving strategy. It also keeps your home looking its best.
Put Money Into Your Home
Your roof inspection came back, and you need a handful of patches. But your roof is almost 10 years old. How long will those patches last? Instead of doing what’s cheapest, consider replacing your roof so you don’t have to worry about it for the next 15 years. When it comes to home repairs, things only tend to get worse the longer you put them off. Even if it seems easier and more convenient to cut corners on replacing things, it’s hardly ever worth the hassles and added expenses of having work redone over and over again.
When you discover any issues in your pipes, insulation, or other parts of your home, then that’s a good sign to check up on other parts of your home. The changing of seasons can act as a helpful reminder to check in on any repairs or upgrades that you need to put into motion. Don’t forget about investing in the outdoor areas of your home either. Tending your lawn and the surrounding shrubs and trees can help you to avoid further expenses later on.
Decrease Your Energy Usage
The success of a long-term saving strategy is perhaps most apparent in your energy usage habits. Because the savings of good energy usage habits are so clear over any significant period of time, it’s one of the things that can have the largest impact on your financial well being over the years. But unfortunately, most people are lost when it comes to reducing their energy usage around the house.
First and foremost, you should replace any older, outdated light bulbs with newer, energy-efficient light bulbs. The savings from this change alone can be quite massive over time, especially if you have a lot of light bulbs in your home. Even if you only have a few light bulbs, this is a change that will still contribute to your long-term saving strategy.
You should also unplug any devices that are plugged in when you’re not using them. Even if your electronics and other devices aren’t being used actively, they still use up small amounts of power that can really add up over time. Keep that in mind the next time you’re thinking of leaving the house for a long time.
Of course if you want to take it to the next level, you might consider investing in solar panels or other forms of alternative energy. There are now many incentive programs from local power suppliers and municipality organizations to help consumers offset the costs of having new solar panels installed for their home. If you’re even so much as considering a new solar panel installation, then it’s worth it to at least do a little bit of research to see if you qualify for any grants, credits, or price reductions to help you with the financial side of switching to an alternative energy source.
Buy a Newer Car
Buying a newer car could save you lots of money on repairs and wear and tear. Sure, a new car might seem like an unnecessary expense, but how long will you feel safe after you shop for a used car? Used cars may appear to be a more fiscally responsible choice, but when you look at things from the view of a long-term saving strategy, that’s often not the case. Sure, a used car will be cheaper than a new car right now, but you have to think of the costs you’re likely to incur over time. For one, used cars tend to need more repairs and replacements done to them. Add to that the fact that used cars are often made with older, less efficient parts and engines, and you’ll soon see that it’s not such a bad idea to invest in a new car instead.
If you do decide to buy a new car, then make sure you’re getting the best deal possible. Many car dealerships have flexible payment plans and budget-friendly options. Even though it might be tempting to go with the first new car you happen to come across, it’s a much better choice to see what kind of options are out there first. Coming with a list of criteria and financial considerations for your new car is a good way to make sure you stick to your long-term saving strategy instead of getting influenced by a shiny new ride.
Keep Child Care Local
When you invest in local businesses, you’re making sure your neighborhood has a strong foundation for years to come. So when it comes time to pick a daycare for your child, see if you can find a great locally-owned place in your neighborhood. Staying local with your childcare also gives you the benefit of having easy access to the facility. It also makes transportation, picking up, and dropping off that much easier when you’re nearby.
On a similar note, you should always consider getting more local in all aspects of your day to day life. Driving far out of your way to go pick up groceries? Try finding a grocery store that’s closer. Are you wasting valuable time and money on commuting to a pharmacist? Switch to one that you can walk to. By getting more local you’ll soon discover the new places and faces that make your community so unique and valuable.
Stay Ahead of Pet Care
Despite some key defining features, most pets aren’t too different from the people who own them. In the end, every animal and every human benefits from a healthy lifestyle that incorporates some form of preventative maintenance. Being proactive about maintaining your pet’s health over time could be the thing that saves you a trip to the animal hospital. Sure, some medical issues and unexpected complications come up from time to time as an inevitable part of life, but there are certain things you can do to avoid health problems in your pet.
With dogs, that means walking them enough each day. Walking your dog regularly not only gives them the exercise they need, but it also helps you stay fit as well. For dogs who like to wander, it’s a good idea to check them for ticks and fleas regularly. Discovering these types of pests early on could be the key to keeping your long-term saving strategy intact. Whether you have dogs, cats, or some other pet, it’s important to keep up on regular visits to the vet’s office. A good vet will be able to monitor your pet for any potential issues that could develop or worsen in severity over time.
Make Saving Automatic
For the final tip, you should consider making saving money something that is not even a choice for you. Many banks and financial institutions have built-in options for automating your savings every month. It’s a good idea to dedicate a certain portion of your income to a savings account each and every time you get paid. This strategy works because it allows you to separate yourself from your money before you even get the temptation to spend it on something frivolous. When you make saving money a habit that’s out of your hands, then you will certainly thank yourself down the road when you discover just how much you’ve managed to stockpile.
Whether you’re used to saving money or not, it’s never too late to get started. By putting the right habits and long-term saving strategy in place you are doing yourself one of the best favors possible. Follow these tips and you’ll be sure to save more than you think.