(This post was written by Apex Window Werks, a window replacement and repair company located in Chicago. AWW is more than 8 years in business and it is an A+ BBB company. Feel free to visit their website for more details about services available.)

Global economic strain is seeing price inflation and consumers paying more, yet getting less value for money. Basic living standards are being compromised and households are forced to relook their spend habits and saving strategies.

Proactivity is needed to mitigate financial risk and aggressive saving habits needs to be seriously considered. It’s for these reasons many people are looking to additional income generating options to accrue more monthly income since the cost of living is becoming higher.

Back to budget basics

In light of the above, basic living needs are redefined to be more stringent in approach. One of the most fundamental requirements to ensure all basics monthly needs are met without mid-month “financial blues,” is to plan one’s finances prior. As simple as a basic excel tracker sheet which outlines all monthly expenses against income can clearly depict one’s financial status.

While you may feel like avoiding this exercise, like anything avoided, it won’t just go away. It is best to get on top of your “realities” and plan your finances wisely. In doing this, it can also spur on entrepreneurial thoughts to earn more income in one’s spare time which can assist with any financial shortfalls.

The season to save is now

The majority of individuals have aspirant lifestyle desires which bare the risk of getting into debt. While it’s never endorsed to live beyond ones means, don’t lose the dream to acquire that desirable item. Simply relook how to work your finances or earn more to acquire it. This approach gets one out of their comfort zone and thinking creatively about money and smarter ways to work with it.

Some simple savings techniques can be seen in buying bulk essentials that have a longer life span and while it’s on discounted prices. Regardless of whether the season warrants the purchase, take a long term approach. When certain items are on sale (such as pasta, bath soap or toothpaste), the shelf life warrants buying more when you can for long term savings. The same applies to off season clothing items. While one might always want to be an “in season” fashionista, some classic items can be bought out of season, on sale and remaining stylish for the following seasons to come. A classic winter coat will always be just that! So buy when the winter season is closing out with discounts as the spring/summer is welcomed in.

Vouchers for restaurants and movies are a great way to still see to recreational habits while being diligent in saving money. Booking vacations well in advance could come with forward booking rewards and highly favourable prices. Taking a walk or jog to a store instead of driving or taking a bus is a way of saving money on fuel or bus fare and you get to keep fit …which means you could also consider cancelling your gym membership and work with nature to exercise! Your friends also won’t mind, since it’s presumable that most can probably relate to financial constraints, in not always fine dining. Sometimes all coming together to prepare or contribute towards a meal and meet for a picnic instead can see you having the same kind of fun you would in any environment…if not more as you become more creative with your recreational approach.

Using cash instead of swiping a card is pretty much an eye opener to how we use money. The same can be said of gamblers who would never gamble as much if they were using hard cash instead of tokens or the equivalent of. When you need to pay with cash for any item, your purchase power and considerations could be more conservative. More so if you keep backtracking your thoughts to your income and expenditure spreadsheet reminding yourself of what your actual financial status is.

Household energy can be reduced when lights are turned off in rooms that aren’t being occupied or the same for appliances. Children should be taught this from young together with water saving techniques and general money saving habits. In fact children should be looking for means to earn more allowance method under parental guidance. It can be as simple as making cookies and lemonade to sell to neighbours or doing household chores for cash.

Women tend to spend a lot on cosmetics and beauty regimes. Relook the ingredients in your expensive skin care and find a homemade /DIY alternative that mimic’s the lotion. One may be pleasantly surprised when the end result of a, for example, homemade natural skin peel made from fruit and other natural ingredients has the same result as an “in beauty salon” Vitamin C chemical peel. Or how about a final brushing of teeth with baking powder for extra whiteness instead of seeing a dentist for teeth whitening? All safer methods that may require a bit of patience and ongoing effort however equally effective and gratifying!

Financial diligence is mostly about a change in mind-set. If you are ready to embrace proactive saving plans and smart spending habits, it won’t be hard to adopt a somewhat “alternative” approach than usual spending and acquisition patterns.

Besides having personal wealth and being cash savvy is far “sexier” in the long run!