Two weeks ago we talked about increasing your monthly savings until you find your optimal, pain-free savings rate.
If you check that off your list, you can then find pain-free ways to decrease your spending. And once you establish healthy spending habits, then you can save even more.
Healthy Spending Habit #1: Try generic
Do you buy Advil or generic ibuprofen? Q-Tips or Walgreens cotton swabs? Starbucks coffee pods or Safeway pods? Hefty Cinch Saks or CVS garbage bags?
When you buy brand name products, you are probably just a sucker for good corporate marketing. Often the product quality is no better than its generic, no-name cousin.
So an easy way to save money is buying generic - same quality product, no sucker premium.
But notice I said TRY generic. Some generic products are truly awful - generic cottons swabs are like cleaning your ears with a tree branch. So I "indulge" on Q-Tips. On the other hand, ibuprofen is ibuprofen.
So look for ways to buy generic. If you decide the product is inferior, then go back to the brand name product.
But first, TRY generic
Financial success or failure depends on your financial habits. Saving a few bucks on garbage bags might not seem like a big deal. But saving a few bucks every week over 30, 40, 50 years adds up. And I don't know about you, but I'd rather splurge on retirement vacations than Hefty (Hefty) Cinch Saks.