Have you ever felt like your pocket or your wallet has holes? No matter how you try to save money, it seems to always go straight to the drain. Well don’t you worry because you are not alone!
You might have tried several popular money-saving strategies like the 52-week money challenge or the 12-month saving challenge. But, you end up struggling to complete these challenges and still spend money prematurely.
It can be extremely daunting and frustrating at the same time. That’s why you should check out these few simple tips that might help you successfully save money.
What Are Your Plans?
It’s always wise to set aside money for contingencies. However, since there are no specific expenses that the money is reserved for, it may turn out being spent whenever you feel the need.
What’s worse is that most of the time, it isn’t really a necessity. You might feel the need to take money from it because you can and not because you needed.
With a specific goal in mind, saving money is almost automatic. Furthermore, since there’s a specified amount that you need to raise, you can control yourself from the temptation.
Evaluate Your Finances
Before even attempting to budget your earnings, you may want to assess them first. Study the history of your expenses by checking your withdrawals and auto-debits on your bank account. Try to draw conclusions from the balances to be able to know whether saving is possible.
Don’t fret when you see that only a minimal balance of your account is left over almost every month. It doesn’t automatically mean it’s hopeless. It only means you need to evaluate whether your previous expenditures can be reduced or avoided altogether. It’s a great way to understand how to live within your means.
Make a List
If you know basic bookkeeping, you should use that to record the ins and outs of your finances. That way, you’ll be able to determine whether your revenue can cover your expenses and whether you can still have a net profit that you can save up for rainy days.
If bookkeeping sounds like Greek to you, it’s totally fine. You can just list down or organize your receipts, utility bills, insurances and your budget for a specified period (until the next payday).
Remember, organizing this paperwork will reduce the likelihood of misusing the budget.
Read and Learn
If you have not studied finance, you may want to educate yourself about financial matters. No need for a college degree, you can simply learn from experts like Teach Me! Personal Finance. This site walks you through different tips and guides about the ins and outs of personal finance based on research.
Apart from that, you can also save a ton of money through the internet. The internet can help you discover cheap deals, to help you save on the cost of almost everything.
Savings Comes First
It’s a common practice to set aside savings after you have budgeted your salary or income. However, it’s almost always challenging to set aside money because of the anticipation that there would be unexpected expenses between paydays.
A good savings strategy is that you first set aside your intended savings for the period. Then, whatever money is left after the savings have been deducted, is what you can and should work with. In other words, you adjust for your budget, not the other way around.
Pay Your Obligations on Time
It has been proven that paying your dues on time has been effective in controlling your expenditures. Sometimes, procrastinating on paying your bills leads to you spending the money on something else. To make matters worse, those expenses may not be included in the budget and may not even be necessary.
By placing your finances where it should be, you encourage avoiding unnecessary costs in the household and it helps you stay within your financial plans. You also avoid being penalized with surcharges for late payment.
Earn Money When You’re Bored
Yes, you read that right, and it’s possible nowadays. If you have some spare time with nothing pressing to do, you may try making money with online surveys.
There are a lot of websites that offer this fabulous way of earning not only by asking you to answer surveys but also through playing games, joining contests, watching videos, using cashback coupons, etc.
Nobody gets rich by being an employee. Unless, of course, you hold a vital position in the company. However, upper echelon positions in businesses are typically reserved for owners or major stockholders.
So, the only viable option for you is to start investing. You can talk to your bank’s financial adviser so they can guide you on the type of investment to choose leading up to your investment portfolio.
However, keep in mind that investments, especially if you decide to go the stock market route, are high-risk and high-return ventures. Always be careful about “putting all your eggs in one basket.”
Just like constructing a building, everything has to start with a plan or blueprint. Without it, you will end up creating a structure with no definite direction and no symmetry. Worse, the structure might be loosely-constructed and substandard, and you might end up working through revisions after revisions without a guide.
Hence, having written down everything about your financial goals from the get-go and updating your progress are a great practice. Having a record will be your constant reminder of why you are doing all of this in the first place.
Lastly, determine a target date for you to reach the goals you have set. Any plans you may have when it comes to money matters would be an exercise in futility if a timeline and due date aren’t set. In the end, it will just be a wild goose chase!