I’m young, but I actually like saving money. Although I have not always been as diligent as I could have been, I’m grateful for having learned the important of saving at a young age so that I can be prepared for the future and secure in the present. If you find yourself struggling in finances, perhaps the following tips will help put you in the right direction:
1) No Impulse Purchases
Spending money can be a subtle addiction. If you’re trying to save money, then make sure you are not buying things impulsively. Remember, everything in stores and on television is pointing you towards spending your money. A good rule of thumb is to wait 24 hours before making any type of large purchase. For some people, more time might be required but 24 hours is a good starting point. By doing this, you will be able to reasonably think through a purchase; do you need it? Can you really afford it? Is it necessary to have now? Also, make sure you know what a “large purchase” is for you; it will look different for everyone depending on their goals. For some people, $50 might be a large purchase while for others it will be $100. The point is to set a gauge for yourself so you can better restrain yourself by waiting. After all, patience is a virtue!
2) Save Loose Change
For years I never intentionally saved loose change. Thinking back on this, I have no idea where any of it went! Recently, however, I have been saving my change and in a little less than a year have approximately $86.00. That might not seem like much, but compared to $0 it’s a lot!
3) Use Cash
The last tip can often encourage this one. Too often we use our credit/debit cards and rack up debt; many times, it’s not even on purchases we needed. Before putting yourself in debt (or in more debt!) try using cash for allotted categories such as groceries, gas, and anything else you feel is appropriate. Some people will use the envelope method; they put in a certain amount of cash in each envelope and label it “gas” or whatever else it might be. Although this could be a good method, if you find something else that works for you than go ahead and do it! For myself, I started out with the envelope method but now I’m comfortable enough to just know where my money is going.
4) Track Your Spending
One of the most helpful things I’ve ever done in regards to my finances is to track my spending. Before doing this, I assumed I wasn’t spending my money frivolously. but it turns out I certainly wasn’t doing everything I could to save money. After tracking my spending I found out that I was spending too much money on food items and entertainment (much like other people!). So, tracking my spending illuminated where my money was going, which in turn allowed me to budget my money in such a way that I don’t fall victim to the temptations where I often spend my money.
All in all, your money should work for you! You are the one that tells it what you want it to do. Don’t be a slave to your money; it certainly isn’t the most important thing in life. If you want to break free and start saving money, then these tips can be great starting points. What are ways that have been helpful to you in saving money?