If I earned a dollar for every time someone told me that they can’t afford to start saving, I would be wealthy! However, I don’t believe that not being to afford to save is the real problem. I think the real challenge most people face is finding the discipline they need to get started and keep going, or employing the patience needed to allow insubstantial amounts to become substantial over time. With that in mind, this post will focus on a few simple methods of saving that can, and do, get often overlooked.
The 7 Simple Saving Tips:
1. Track Your Expenditure
For some reason, you find yourself broke at the end of each month. Your money seems to be disappearing into thin air. Where does it go? Well, it’s obvious that you a have an issue. What you now need to do is identify its source and then work on eliminating it. Tracking your expenses is as simple as manually or electronically recording your expenditure on a daily basis, in different categories, and then tallying each category to get an overall monthly total. Note: It’s important to tally monthly expenditure in categories, so you’re better able to identify the exact area in which you’re overspending, and in which you can cut back.
2. Delay Instant Gratification
Sure, you work hard and think you deserve this designer bag/shoe/phone/car/etc., but don’t you deserve peace of mind and financial security more? And in case you weren’t aware, instant gratification has a horrible after-effect over the long term. Just relax! Give your spending anxiety some time to wear off. It usually does if you allow it to. There will always be something, somewhere that you simply must have. The problem is that if/when you do get it, the satisfaction is fleeting and wears off most times before your latest purchase is even unwrapped (if it ever is). Then, before you know it, you’re pursuing the to the next objection of your affection and looking to get your next fix. Instant gratification is a very destructive and expensive cycle. Cut. It Out.
3. Differentiate Your “Needs” From Your “Wants”
Not much has changed over the centuries as it relates to one’s basic needs: food, shelter and clothing. Everything else, no matter how much you justify it, is a want. And while you do need food, shelter and clothing, you don’t need fine dining every night, multi-million dollar mansions, or a full designer wardrobe. That’s not the case. Let me hasten to add, though, that it’s perfectly fine to purchase things you want every now and again, providing that you can actually afford them (no credit card purchases allowed).Don't spend your way into poverty doing by telling yourself you need stuff when they're just… Click To Tweet
4. Say “NO”
If you’re not already familiar with this word, it’s time for you to learn. Not knowing how to say “NO” to yourself and other people is expensive. If your friend is in a bind and asks you for a small loan, can you afford to never get this money back? Because the possibility exists that you might not. If your answer is “NO” (see, you’re learning already), then you’ve pretty much answered their question. Evaluate the potential causes and effects of your actions before making decisions, especially financial ones. Sure, go out, have fun! But keep in mind that everything must be done in moderation. it’s perfectly OK not to give in to every whim and fancy of your friends, and yourself, especially if it might land you in your own financial bind. And who knows, saying “NO” might be the very thing that saves a friendship.
5. Educate Yourself
There isn’t a single literate person in the world who didn’t first seek to be educated, so naturally, there isn’t a single financially literate person who didn’t first seek financial education of some sort – be it a book, mentor, etc. Now, I’m not telling you to go out buy a financial encyclopedia and drink pump yourself full of caffeine just to get through it (though that’s not entirely a bad idea if you do decide to). However, you must educate yourself on money and how it works. Read financial articles and blogs (like this one), and if you’re into books, a great one to start with would be Rich Dad Poor Dad. Don’t remain ignorant to your personal finances because you don’t understand “financial language.” The more of the information you consume, the easier it eventually becomes to understand.
6. Get a Piggy Bank
We’re going right back to basics here, right back to the old school! Now, I bet you’re wondering why you need a piggy bank but the answer is very simple. We give piggy banks to children to encourage them to save, so why not use this same method on yourself? At the end of each day, you might end up with some loose change in your purse, wallet or pockets which eventually gets thrown down somewhere, right? Let’s fix that. Get yourself a plump, round little pig and start making daily coin deposits (you’re hardly going to miss the money). Do this consistently for even 3 months and you’re going be surprised at how much this all adds up. When you see how fruitful your efforts have been, you can then use the money accumulated in your plump little pig and…
7. Treat Yourself!
You’ve sacrificed a lot, so it’s only fair that you get to reward yourself. A good and careful way to do this is by setting a goal and attaching a reward to it. For example, you may choose to reward yourself with a spa treatment when your emergency or retirement fund reaches a specific amount. Rewarding yourself for a goal achieved will awaken a sense of fulfillment and joy within you, which will then motivate you to maintain your money momentum! But (yes, there’s a but), be careful; all spending must still be done in moderation, even when you’re rewarding yourself.
Waiting until you have money to start saving is like waiting to get into an accident before… Click To Tweet