We all want to save money right? But, why does it seem very difficult to do that ?
Money saving is one habit that can hasten your journey to financial security and independence. Most people know that there is an importance of saving money but find it difficult to do it.
Most people might have several ‘reasons’ as to why saving money seems difficult – low income, many responsibilities, economic burdens etc. However, in most cases, people actually make saving difficult for themselves. They put barriers by themselves, either knowingly or unknowingly.
The lack of a concrete and practical way of saving money has made saving money difficult and slow to many people.
How easily can you save money though? Well, there is no specific easy way to do that and that is probably why you are still struggling to save money. However, there are practical ways you can put in place to help you save little money here and there. And in no time, you will be able to save even more.
But, more importantly, this needs self-awareness and blunt honesty to yourself about your relationship with money starting from your goals, your earnings and to your spending habits.
You must have a plan to save to be able to save. You need to have saving as a goal. Make it one of your top financial goals.
When you have savings as a priority, it is going to be a little bit easier for you to save. Remember, you cannot make something a priority if you do not have a goal. In simple words, you need to have goals or a goal as to why you are saving.
Accordingly, ask yourself, why am I saving? What am I saving towards to or what am I trying to achieve?
So, make goals following their importance and urgency and prioritize your savings as you consult your goals. With that being said, you need to know what matters and what is important. Is it a home, a car, a business, a retirement plan, a vacation, a loan to repay, you decide and prioritize on that.
Therefore, when you know how important your goal is, you will give savings towards that goal a priority.
This one sounds really cliché but it really works, trust me. Budgeting is basically planning how to spend your money – your income. And, obviously, failing to plan is planning to fail, cliché again right? Importantly, you need to have a budget, no two way about that, it helps you with your finances.
To come up with a budget, you need to know your income – where is your money coming from and how much money it is. That is your starting point, the basis or foundation of your budgeting.
Your budget will help you balance your finances – income, knowing your needs and your wants, what you want or need to do with your money. With that, you will know whether you have enough money to accommodate all that.
As you budget, budget for your savings even before you start spending your income. Let your savings be a pay for yourself. Pay yourself first through savings before you spend. Don’t spend before you save, another cliché right? Cliché or not, do that and see how you improve in your saving habit and hasten your financial security.
Expenses have to be mentioned in budgeting – where does your money go? What do you do with your money?
A budget will help you highlight what is important or not important and prioritize on your important needs. Be realistic about your expenses and do not undermine your expenses. Make sure you have grouped your expenses as per importance – rent, food, transport, emergency etc.
You can use the traditional way of budgeting or use budgeting apps to help you plan and balance your income with your expenses.
Track all your Expenses.
To make saving easier for you, you need to know where your money goes. You might be having a budget, yes, but you might lose track of it if you do not follow it. You need to follow through your budget by making sure you track your expenses.
Track every expense – everything you do with your money (daily, weekly) whether it is in your budget or not. Check your transactions, your bank account statements, credit cards and your receipts.
You can use a money or spending tracker app and synch all your accounts in one system that will record your transactions. If you are using cash, scan and record your receipts.
Regularly, do your calculations and compare your expenses with your budget. With this, you will know where you are going wrong, what group of your expenses is taking a lot of your income. Eventually, you will know where you need to make changes if there is need to.
Importantly, tracking your daily, weekly and monthly expenses will help you stick to your budget.
Automate your Savings.
You can find budgeting really hard, I know that. With that in mind, automatic savings will definitely work for you.
This will work great if you have a bank account. If you don’t have one, you need to have one to make automatic saving easier. In today’s world, there are so many mobile apps you can use to have an automatic savings plan and you don’t have to go to the bank physically.
If your bank has a mobile system, the better for you as your money is directly synched with your bank account.
Consult with your bank and come up with a plan that automatically sets a specific amount of your paycheck or deposits aside to a separate savings account.
This will also help you in your budgeting and spending habits since you cannot spend the money that is already locked. So you budget with what you have remaining after the automated savings.
Above all, spend less than you earn.
Live below your means is another cliché you have heard a thousand times but one that really works.
You should not spend more than you earn at any point. If your income does not accommodate your expenses, there is something that is not right. Spending more than you earn will drive you to debts, loans and eventually financial stagnation.
On the other hand, you might be getting a very good paycheck. You can afford everything you set your eyes on month by month. But you need to know that you just can’t live on today alone. What about your financial health five years to come? What about retirement? You need to save, not just spend.
The lifestyle you are living right now might be a barrier to your saving habits. You are spending a lot to accommodate your lifestyle and your daily life. The expensive rent and neighborhood you are living in, to service and maintain that expensive car you own. To dine in the expensive bistros and cafes you go to every week and so much more. These strain your finances with or without your knowledge in the name of keeping up with a lifestyle.
When you spend less than you earn or live below your means, this is a reservoir for your savings and your financial security.
Saving might seem difficult to you maybe because you think you have a low income or feel you have a whole lot of responsibilities to take care of. Additionally, you might even feel that the economic situation is pretty tight to take care of your needs and still save.
Well, all these reasons have a concrete base and cannot be overlooked. However, saving is possible no matter the circumstances. You just need to make a choice, have a goal you are working towards and have it as a priority. Above all, it’s a sacrifice and needs discipline.
Remember, saving hastens your journey to financial stability. Therefore, the earlier you embrace the habit and take away these barriers you have put by yourself, the better.
Make saving your priority, have a budget and stick to it, track all your expenses, automate your savings and spend less than you earn.