Saving money may come naturally for some people but not for the majority. If we are to believe recent surveys, majority of people especially the millennials are struggling with their finances. Driven by the lure of instant gratification, millennials are having a hard time saving money. Some have negative savings and are tied to high interest debts. If you don’t want to belong to the statistic, here are quick and easy ways you can try to start saving money today:
Create a realistic budget
This has been reiterated over and over again. If you want to save money, you’ll have to start from the basic. Create a budget so you’ll know how much you can set aside for your savings account. Make sure your budget is realistic enough. Otherwise, you’ll end up not sticking to the budget and you’ll get discouraged in the end.
Pay yourself first
As soon as you receive your paycheck, the first thing you should do is set aside money for savings. That’s how you pay yourself first. Ideally, you should set aside 10% of your income to savings. If you cannot manage that, you can always start small then gradually increase the percentage over time. No matter the amount, successful saving is all about consistency.
Make saving automatic
As many experts say, it’s easier to save money when it’s done automatically. If you really want to pay yourself first, you can set-up an automatic debit transfer each month. You can open a new account dedicated solely for your savings. As soon as your paycheck is deposited on your account, the bank does the automatic transfer depending on the amount you specified. With this kind of set-up, it will be easier to save money each month once you get use to it.
Use cash whenever possible
We are living in a day and age where we use credit cards for most of our purchases. You don’t have to follow the norm by sticking with cash instead. When you use cash for groceries and other purchases, you’ll have more control over your money. With cash, the value of your money is more tangible preventing you from overspending.
Leave the credit cards at home
To further avoid overspending, you’ll have to leave the credit cards at home especially if you’re planning a shopping spree. When your credit cards are not within reach, it will be easier to say no to impulsive and unnecessary purchases. Ideally, you should only use your credit cards for emergencies and important purchases. When you do use it, paying your bill in full is imperative.
Plan your meals
Other than rent and gas, one of the biggest expenses that eat up a huge chunk of your paycheck is food. Maybe you’re eating out a lot or you’re buying coffee every day. You may not notice it but these expenses can be curbed if you plan your meal each week. You may need to eat out less and cut down on coffee so you can add the extra money to your savings account.
Cut down on other expenses
If you really look hard at your budget and expenses, you’ll see that there are actually a number of areas you can cut down on. Take for instance, your monthly subscriptions. If you have several magazine subscriptions, you can lose one or two and save the money instead. You can also adjust your mobile phone contract accordingly. In any case, the key is to look for areas where you can curb the expense then use the money for added savings.