By Victoria Q
Saving money is important and we all know that. But, sometimes the hardest thing about saving money is we don’t know where to begin. We’re all living in our comfort zone that we don’t realize how much we actually can save each month.
You may not know but a majority of people nowadays have less than $3000 in their saving account. If you’re spending more than 95% of your wages each month, it’s time for you to find ways to save money. It’s always important to set aside at least a little for the future, no matter how much you’re bringing in home.
Here are some easy ways you can do to save money for your future self.
- Track Your Expenses
The first step to start saving money is to figure out how much you spend. Keep track of your daily expenses like coffee, sandwich, gas can let you know where you spend most of your money in. There’s a saying “Every problem has a solution” so you need to find out the problem before solving it. Look for a free spending tracker to download on your phone or computer – range from an excel sheet to an app.
2. Make A Budget
Once you have data on your expenses, organize them by categories such as gas, mortgage, car payment, groceries and more. You then figure out your money priorities and from there, you can plan on cutting back which is not necessary. Calculate an estimated amount you need for monthly spending for each category. Be realistic of your budget amount, make sure you’re not overspending or overbudgeting your monthly expenses. If you’re spending more than you earn, ask yourself what could you cut out or cut back.
3. Make Your Own Meal
Eating out sure sounds great but the cost of eating out is a lot higher than making your own meal at home. Cut back from eating outside every day to once a week will help you to save a lot of money. It will be difficult at the beginning but you will not regret making this decision when you see the amount you save from doing it. Pack your own lunch box to work and choose what you want to cook for dinner a day before. Choose your cooking recipe based on what you have at home to avoid an extra visit to the supermarket. Or, plan your meal before going out for groceries shopping.
4. Avoid Unnecessary Shopping
Plan how often you will go for groceries shopping – once a week, twice a week or else. Then, list down what you want to buy a day before you shop for groceries. Check what you have in the cabinet and fridge and try to finish up all the leftover food and vegetables you have before buying new. When you’re doing groceries shopping, stick to your groceries list and don’t let yourself grab anything out of the list just because the salmon fillet looks fresh or the marinated steak smells delicious.
5. Pay With Cash
Whatever you buy, pay with cash! You can use your debit card if you don’t want to carry a large sum of money, but make sure the amount in your debit card is what included when you plan for your monthly budget. This means you only take out the money you will pay with cash and left the amount in your bank when you know you will pay with a debit card. Avoid paying with a credit card in whatever situation. A credit card gives you unrealistic money available when you can’t even pay off the amount at the end of the month.
6. Make Saving Automatic
Almost all banks offer automated transfer from your main account (transaction account) to a saving account. You can set up scheduled transfers – when and how much money to transfer to your saving account. Set up a specific amount to put into your saving account can ward you off from the temptation of overspending.
7. Set A Goal
Identify your current goal can help you to save money without feeling deprived. What are you saving money for? Is it a part of your retirement planning? Are you planning to go on a holiday? Or to buy a house? You can have as many goals as you want and make plans on how you would like to put your saving into each goal. For example, you can place 50% of your saving into retirement, 25% on house fund and 25% on travel fund. It’s totally up to you to decide how much % of your saving you want to put into each goal.