By Barton Goldsmith Tribune News Service
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Saving or earning a little extra can simply help you live a more comfortable life. Therapist Barton Goldsmith shares a few simple tips to keep in mind that may help you save in more ways than one.
Tribune News Service
Financial insecurity is a big part of many people's lives, and it can make you feel a little unsafe in the world. Here are some things you can do to save money and live better at the same time.
-Turn off the lights! Sometimes all you need to do to stay healthy is to keep moving. Making sure all unnecessary lights are off before going to bed will bring down the electric bill and give you a chance to run up or down the stairs another time or two. It all counts as exercise.
-Eat healthy. Even people who aren't on a budget shop at local farmers markets. The prices are good, and the freshness and quality can't be beat. Farmers markets are in most neighborhoods. I can walk to mine. Gotta love a twofer!
-Take that walk. If you can do it, walk to the store, school, church, or whatever is within reasonable distance. The health benefits, both physically and emotionally, are obvious, and there are additional perks as well. You get to visit with other walkers, and just saying hello to someone you may have only passing acquaintance with can brighten your mood. And let's not forget that you are saving money on gas.
-Clean out the old. It does us good to purge from time to time, and cleaning out the garage is an opportunity to both create some emotional and physical space and make a little extra money with a garage sale. If you have kids, get them involved. They could make bank on some of their old toys and video games and learn more about finances. It will also bring the family closer. Just remember, it's also about having fun.
-Teach your children. Little kids today are much more money conscious than when I was growing up. There may be a tiny mogul lurking in a bedroom in your home, but none of you may know it. Helping your kids put up their first lemonade stand is a great bonding experience. And when the kids have a little jingle in their pockets, you can take them to the bank and teach them about savings, but let them keep a little mad money for fun. Next stop: Shark Tank!
-Cook at home more often. Last time I went for fast food, the bill was over $25! For that, we could have gotten a couple of steaks at the store and had a real meal. I am no cook but I am a great helper. I also believe that when four hands and two hearts are preparing a meal, it is food for the soul as well as the body.
-Tend your garden. Depending on where you live, gardening may be big part of maintaining your domain. I enjoy many aspects of tending the garden. Cutting back the roses, planting some flowers, and picking pomegranates in the fall. When it comes to mowing the lawn or using power tools, I call in the pros, but that's not every week. So I save some money by getting outdoors and find some peace in my garden. In addition, I get to cut fresh roses for the one I love.
Saving or earning a little extra can give you greater security and help you and yours live a more comfortable life. And as you see, there are other benefits as well. ___ (Dr. Barton Goldsmith, a psychotherapist in Westlake Village, Calif., is the author of "The Happy Couple: How to Make Happiness a Habit One Little Loving Thing at a Time.")