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To save money – this is perhaps one of the most common goals for many people, but also one of the hardest things to do. Some of us easily lose the discipline and resort into mindless spending instead of saving for a brighter future. This attitude has to change and there is a need to adopt a more financially-intelligent perspective in life.
In the rest of this post, I will provide you with some practical, easy-to-follow tips that will make you succeed in saving. Through these tips on saving money, I hope that you will be able to learn a thing or two, and in the end, take one step forward towards achieving financial literacy. All that you need in discipline, and for sure, saving will be a piece of cake.
Create a List of Expenses
Being able to save money requires a radical change in your spending habits, calling for the need to be more intelligent about how you dispose your income. With this, one of the first things that you need to do is to list down how much you are spending. This will help encourage responsible spending and will let you know if you are spending above your means.
Listing down your expenses can be done by as simple as jotting it down on a notebook. You can also use an Excel file from your computer to keep track of your expenses. For the more techie people, there are various mobile applications that will make it easy for you to monitor spending.
Prioritize Needs Over Wants
Do you really need to buy a new phone when the latest model comes out? Do you need to go out and eat in an expensive restaurant even if you can afford to have a delicious meal at home? Do you really need to have that much-anticipated vacation even if you know that you are in a financially-strapped situation?
Before you buy anything, first think if it is a need or a want. The rule of thumb is that you should always put your money on the things that will prove to be needed. It is alright to indulge in your wants, but make sure that such is done only every once in a while.
Cook Your Own Food
For many people, a bulk of their monthly expenses go to food. For sure, eating out in a fancy restaurant with Instagram-worthy interior and dishes can satiate the appetite and make you at the envy of others. But, is such really needed?
If possible, you should cook your own food at home and avoid buying from a restaurant. You should also consider packing your own lunch and snacks to work. This will not only help you to save money, but will also be instrumental towards being able to adopt a healthier lifestyle.
Grow your Finances
Saving money will help you to have the cash you need in times that can be financially challenging. Nonetheless, it is also not a good idea to just keep your money on the bank. It will grow with interest rates, but such growth can also be minimal.
Once the time comes that you have already saved sufficient amount, think about how to invest money. It can be in the form of a stock market investment, mutual funds, or a small business that you can start at home. Always calculate the risks that are involved to be confident that the money you have religiously saved will not only go into waste.
Use Public Transportation
Having a car can prove to be convenient, especially because you do not have to go through the hassle of commuting each and every day. However, with the rising cost of gas, add up the cost of parking and toll, it can also take out a chunk of your monthly income. Whenever possible, consider commuting as an alternative.
Nowadays, ride sharing or carpooling are also being popular. There are apps like Tripda that promotes ride sharing among its members. It is not only a good way to save, but can also be an opportunity to be friends with other people.
Adopt the 10-20-70 Formula
Under this formula, when you receive your money, you should divide it accordingly. 10% should go to your emergency fund or debt payment, 20% should be for your savings and investment, and only 70% should go to expenses, prioritizing your needs over your wants. When followed in the long term, this can lead into financial freedom.
For some people, once they receive their paycheck, they immediately eat out, party and shop to treat themselves for the effort they have exerted at work. While there is nothing wrong about indulgence in such things, it is wiser to put the money where it is needed and where it will yield better returns in the long run.
In sum, to be able to save money, you need to create a robust plan, know your needs, cook your own food, take public transportation, invest, and learn the right formula of dividing your money between setting up an emergency fund, savings and investments, and your spending. Many of these things are very basic, but it is surprising how they can yield significant benefits when followed.
The tips on saving money that have been mentioned above are very easy to follow, if you have the discipline and the motivation that is required. Take note that it is all about having a shift in your behavior, not only in terms of setting aside extra money for savings, but also when it comes to changing the way you spend and putting your money in a worthy investment.