The biggest eye opener for most people performing a self-audit is that they're not saving as much money as they'd like. Welcome to the world of living below your means (or "LBYM," as those in the know refer to it).
Lucky for you, living below your means is as easy as pie! Just spend less money that you bring in. Then pass that savings along to a good investment.
Simple? Sure. Easy? Maybe not. But it's certainly worth the effort. As we pointed out earlier in our auditing series, every dollar can make a difference. Just 10 bucks a week piles up more than $11,600 in savings (assuming a 6% annual rate of return) in 15 years.
Living below one's means is a practice employed by some of the best CEOs. On a bigger scale, those who keep a lid on their company's costs and make smart decisions about directing their savings are rewarded. Take Winnebago Industries
The turnaround is in large part due to the penny-pinching guidance of CEO Bruce Hertzke. Hertzke's LBYM ways extend to his personal finances, too. "The guy pulled down more than $650,000 in salary and bonuses last year, but expects his 50 cents back from the three bucks he tosses on the bar for his $2.50 Canadian Club and 7-Up," Business 2.0 reports.
As the CEO of your financial empire, apply the same cost-consciousness to your own finances. There's no better place for guidance than the community of Fools who live under the LBYM moniker. Here are some resources that will help you find ways to plug up any cash flow leaks:
- Here's an introduction to this community of power savers.
- Read the LBYM FAQ.
- Scroll through the community's top money-saving tips.
By doing a little due diligence, chances are you'll never be blindsided by accounting calamities like the execs at WorldCom. If you've followed along in this series, you've raised the bar on your personal money management. Best yet, you're almost done with our little financial odyssey. All you have to do now is certify your results. -- Dayana Yochim (TMF School)