Many people think that saving money is a no brainer but it actually harder than it sounds, especially if you want to do this diligently over time.
There are many factors that can determine how much you save, such as keeping expenses down, finding new income sources, or never spending beyond your mean. In reality, saving money is one of those tasks that is easier said than done which many still have difficulty with. You may blame it on low income, but a high income does not necessarily equate to successful saving. It is not unheard of that people who earn a lot are still living from paycheck to paycheck.
If you want to save money but have yet to see success, you may need some proven techniques and combine this with discipline and perseverance. We have five simple tips here that can help you save money in an easier way.
1. Pay yourself first
If you only save whatever is left each month, it is highly unlikely that you are a good saver. There are countless reasons to spend when we have easy access to money so, upon receiving your salary, set aside some money in a separate savings pool. You will then only be able to use this net sum (salary minus savings) for your everyday expenses and you will be less tempted to spend with less spare cash.
|Income – Savings = Expenses
|Income – Expenses = Savings
Start with a realistic goal, for example setting aside 10% of your salary as savings every month as soon as you get paid. This proportion can be gradually increased to 20% or even more according to your circumstances. Saving is a long term plan. You should proceed with a pace that you are comfortable with. Never be too aggressive at the beginning as this could make it difficult to keep up with your plan.
2. Automatic transfers
In addition to a regular bank account to manage your everyday transactions, open another one for saving purposes. Make it as inconvenient as possible to withdraw money from this savings account such as leaving your ATM card at home or even decline an ATM card. Make the saving process simple and automate it so that it takes as little effort as possible. Set up a standing order with your bank to automatically transfer money from your regular account toy our savings account on payday. Another way is to join a savings plan with a bank to automatically deduct a certain sum from your account every month.
Check your savings account regularly. When you see your account balance going up, the sense of accomplishment will motivate you to stick to your saving plan.
3. Give yourself a goal
What are your financial goals? Going on vacation, buying a house, getting married? The savings goal you set up should be clear and achievable (you can start from a smaller goal). When you have a clear savings goal, you will be much more motivated to achieve your plan. If you want to be more effective, post your goal somewhere prominent, such as next to your computer to act as a constant reminder to yourself.
When everything is smooth sailing, there is no financial urgency. However, it is advisable to save for a rainy day and keep a sum that is equivalent to three to six months of expenses for contingency use. Use this as a start for your first savings goal.
Savings goal calculator helps you calculate how much you have to save every month to achieve your savings goal. It can also compute how long it takes to achieve your goal if you plan to make regular contributions to your savings pool.
4. Take one step at a time to change your spending habits
If you intend to save 10% of your income aside every month, you will need to spend 10% less. There is no need to take drastic measures. You can make minor adjustments to your spending habits such as cutting down on a few cups of store-bought coffee, bringing lunch to work and eating at less expensive outlets a few days of the week. Unless it’s for necessities, shop less frequently and cut down on luxuries. It is important is to take one step at a time. Restricting your spending too much at once might discourage you from going on with your savings plan.
5. Use cash instead of credit card
People tend to spend less if they pay in cash rather than with credit cards. Bring just enough cash out to cover your daily expenses. If you find it difficult not to use your credit card, simply leave it at home. This will help you to keep track of your daily spend and avoid overspending. With limited money in your wallet, you will be forced to consider carefully before handing it over to the cashier. Also, avoid going to shopping malls with friends who enjoy shopping or "splashing out", because their shopping sprees may ruin your savings plan. If you need company when you shop, find someone who is money-savvy and can act as your sounding board for purchases. Having friends to discuss and share tips on savings and money management will give you the encouragement and determination to keep saving.