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Saving money; it’s a concept we all want to master, but it’s an idea that tends to become forgotten the second we walk into our favorite store. I, like many, always had a problem saying no to my wants. It wasn’t until I really focused on my money as something that I wanted to keep, that I was finally able to ask myself, “Do I really need that product?” Today I will be discussing ways that you can save your money so that you are able to set yourself up for a better life and make saving money seem like more of a habit than a chore.
- YOU HAVE TO WANT TO SAVE MONEY
I’m going to start with one that tends to be left out of every other list you see on the internet, and that is, you have to WANT to save your money. Much like any other goal people set: going to a gym, eating healthier or quitting smoking; if you don’t have the ambition to see your goals through, you’re not going to last long pursuing them. I’m not trying to put doubt into your head, because if I’m able to have changed my spending habits, anyone can. I know the spark that lit my fire was the embarrassment I constantly had living pay check to pay check. I often even had to borrow money from friends or employers to make it until payday. I HATED IT. Nothing kicked me in the groin more than having to ask someone else to help me financially. After some point, I just said enough is enough! If I want to have any sort of pride for myself, I had to learn to say no to the unnecessary purchases I had been making.
- DON’T POSTPONE SAVING
I know you’ve said it before, we all have, the notorious line “I’ll start it next week”. Yes, some of us have the ability to keep to our word when putting off doing something, but for the rest of us, that empty promise we tell ourselves never actually sees the light of day. Just ask my wife when she has to ask me 8 times to take out the garbage and I keep telling her “I will in a little bit”. I’m lucky I have a wife that loves me enough that she’ll keep reminding me to take the garbage out, but in the case of saving money, there might not be a lovely voice reminding you to get yourself together. The point I’m trying to make is stay away from procrastinating sayings like “I’ll do it later” and instead live by the words “why start tomorrow, what I can start today?” It won’t only ensure that you actually START pursuing your goals, but it will also give you a head start.
- REMEMBER THE 50/30/20 RULE
For many, the 50/30/20 rule is a great way to start to budget their money. The 50/30/20 rule is the idea that you separate your income into 3 categories. 50% of your income goes into your “needs” category. That would be things such as groceries, bills, and other expenses you have to make to live. 30% of your income goes into your “wants” category. Saving money doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice everything that you enjoy. You simply have to limit yourself. If you enjoy shopping or going out to eat, by all means keep doing it, but make sure you stay within your limits. Maybe even make yourself an allowance for those things so that you don’t go over your budget. Finally put 20% of your income into savings, and obviously, if you’re able to save more than 20%, then even better!
- ZEROING OUT YOUR CHANGE EACH DAY
This next concept is one that I like to call the Acorn Effect. Many people today use a mobile app called Acorns (see link below) which will take the change from every transaction you make at a store using your debt card and put it into a separate account so that it may accumulate over time. Also, if you simply go online or go on your mobile banking, you would be able to manually transfer any change you had in your checking account and put it into a savings account of your choosing. For example, your checking account has a balance of $237.78, basically what this idea suggests is that you take that .78 and put it into another account, turning your $237.78 balance into $237.00. If you did this every day, your savings account would see daily growth. Let’s say you put on average .78 into your savings account each day for 30 days, after those 30 days, you will have essentially put away around $23. Now let’s multiply that by a year (12 months). Within a 12 month span of simply putting .78 into your savings account each day, you will have saved roughly $276 just off of the change you had in your checking account. If you want to take it one step further, you can even adapt this concept into zeroing out your dollars each day. Take that $237.78 again and round it down so that it becomes $230.00, resulting in $7.78 going into your savings. With a daily deposit like this, your savings account is sure to look AMAZING over time!
- KEEP YOUR MONEY IN MULTIPLE PLACES
Ok, I’m not saying keep half of your money in a pair a shoes and the other half in an old soup can, though if that’s going to work best for you, then by all means go for it. Just make sure to not accidentally throw that soup can out. What I’m more so suggesting is putting your money into different accounts. I, myself, separate my money into: two savings accounts, a checking account, PayPal, stocks, and finally actual cash. I’ve found that if I spread my money out, I’ll be less tempted to spend it. On top of that, it’ll also make it easier to keep your money organized. Take my savings accounts for example. One savings account is for all my monthly bills. A good habit to get into is to make the bills from your “needs” category (the 50/30/20 rule) its own separate account. By doing this, I am able to pay all of my bills at the beginning of the month and then start saving right away for the next month. Then, I use my second savings account for the 20% I put away for long term savings. The best part about these savings accounts, is the potential interest you can accumulate from them. Now forewarning, your average savings account interest won’t be anything jaw dropping, but it is still EXTRA money you are getting for just letting your money sit in that account.
- STAY AWAY FROM UNNEEDED CREDIT CARDS
Staying on the topic of interest, there is one type of interest that doesn’t help you save money at all, and that’s the interest YOU end up paying to someone else. I understand your credit rating is important for many things in life. You’ll need good credit if you ever what a loan for a car or a home, and credit cards are one of the easiest ways to start building your credit. The thing you need to be careful of is swiping those cards more than you need to and getting credit cards for things you don’t “need”. If you’re simply looking to establish a good credit score, then I suggest getting a credit card from the gas station where you fill up your car or the grocery store you get your food from. It’s when you start getting credit cards for unnecessary things like Best Buy, that you start to tempt yourself to spend more than you need to (and I speak from experience because my first credit card was indeed… from Best Buy). The thing you have to remember is that credit cards aren’t a way to get free money, but in fact, will cause you to spend more money. — That new 4k TV that is “only” $799.99? Well, don’t forget to consider the interest you’ll pay on top of that. It is better off to wait and SAVE the money for when you can buy it outright rather than borrow the money and pay more for it in the long term.
- INVEST IN BUYING IN BULK
Finally, a way that you can save money in the long term is to join a wholesale store such as Sam’s Club or Costco. For many of the things that you get regularly, buying them in bulk can save you money that will all add up over time. The best way to utilize these memberships is to buy goods that won’t expire too quickly such as frozen foods, toilet paper, toothpaste etc. Things such as milk, on the other hand, may not be as beneficial buying in bulk. If you don’t plan on using such items in a timely manner, you will then simply end up wasting them and, in the process, wasting your money. Coupons and in-store sales are also great ways to save on the products you were planning on purchasing. If you simply take a look at the weekly ads that stores place at their entrances or online, you could end up finding a deal on a product you were planning on getting anyway. Why pay more for an item if they have a coupon for it that will literally SAVE you money?
I hope these examples give you a better idea on how YOU can save YOUR money. If this at all helped you in some way, feel free to follow the blog and like me on Facebook. I will be sure to post more ways you can save money in the near future.