Last week I talked about paying yourself first and I received an email from a reader, asking me how to save money when all they want to do is spend what they earn. They are young and want to live their life… you only live once, right? Surely they can spend now and save later – right?
Well, technically, yes – but I would strongly advise against that. It’s important to save money for your future. Not only for retirement, but for things like a home, a new vehicle, braces for your child, a wedding, repairs on your home.
What are you going to do when you need to pay for these items? You don’t want to put them on credit. So you need to save your money to pay for them. It’s that simple.
I understand that it can be exhausting to just save, save, save. It gets old real quick, I know – but it’s important. Would you rather have $100 in the bank, or two dinners out? Which one is going to help you in the future?
Make It Fun
If you want to save money without having it seem like a burden, make it fun! Having a positive attitude towards money in a good start. I know it may be hard if you have a bundle of debt, but try to be optimistic about your finances and you will be happier. Enjoy saving money by rewarding yourself when you reach your goals.
Celebrate Small Victories
Set small financial goals for yourself to work towards. Maybe you want to save $50 one month. Do whatever you have to do (work overtime, sell stuff, etc.) to make that money and then celebrate when you do. Even small goals are worth celebrating.
Of course, it’s also important to celebrate large goals as well. If you set a goal to pay off one of your credit cards in 6 months and you are able to do that – celebrate your success! Take yourself out for an ice cream cone or another small treat and then move on to your next goal – maybe you can treat yourself to two ice cream cone’s then. 😉
Make It Automatic
The best way to save money is to have it come right off of your paycheck. This way you don’t ever see it, so it’s much less painless than having to manually transfer money into your savings account every month.
If your employer does not have a savings deduction option, you can always have your bank set up an automatic money transfer. If you get paid twice per month, have your bank withdrawal a certain amount from each paycheck and send it over to your savings account.
Saving money is a critical part of every financial plan. Preparing for your future is an important step that you don’t want to overlook. You are never too young or too old to start saving. Just start!
Even if you can only afford to save $25 a month right now – that’s $300 you will have at the end of the year. When your income goes up (or you are able to get your expenses lower), you can start saving more than that. You’d be surprised at just how fast small sums of money can add up!
Easy Ways To Save Money
Bring lunch to work. Buying takeout every day is expensive. Even a $5 sandwich adds up to $100 a month (if you work 5 days per week)! Buy a few loaves of bread, some condiments and other sandwich toppings I’m sure you can make the same sandwich yourself for much less than the fast food joint.
Ditch the landline. If you have a cellphone, you don’t need to have a home phone as well. Cancel one and keep the other.
Use coupons. Coupons are cash! Using just $10 in coupons on your weekly grocery shopping trip will save you $40 per month or $480 per year!
Eat at home. It’s no secret that preparing meals at home is much cheaper than buying takeout or eating at a restaurant. Find some easy recipes and get cooking!