In the last issue, we introduced you to ways in which spending money can be used to your benefit. In this issue, we will continue our search to find the most beneficial ways in which to spend your money. Ways that will improve your life, save you money in the long run, and help you become a more efficient and productive person.
- Quality, healthy food. Simple, organic foods such as whole grains, legumes, and fresh vegetables are a great way to "invest" in yourself. Studies show that even though these foods may cost a bit more, they pay you back many times over by keeping you healthier, slimmer, and less prone to disease.
Grow a garden (even in a window box if that is all you have), buy from local farmer's markets, make your own healthy food with basic ingredients (recipes for just about anything are all over the Internet or at the library), and cook with more fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
- Savings and investments. It is easy to put off depositing money into your IRA or purchasing your own mutual funds. Unfortunately, time has a way of just flying by. About the time you realize you better start investing for your retirement years, they are already here. It's critically important, for your own piece of mind as well as your financial security, to regularly put money into your emergency fund as well as some type of retirement plan such as an IRA.
To save money, the basics will work here… Save all of your pocket change and deposit it monthly into your emergency fund savings account. Have your employer withhold a percentage of your income and deposit it into your IRA for you (the out of sight, out of mind method). Do a special fundraising activity each month, such as a garage sale or a recycling spree, and put the money generated into your savings or retirement account.