Disclaimer: I am not a professional financial advisor. I am just sharing what works for me in terms of personal finance.
If you can barely pay your bills and are just scraping by every month, saving money will probably be last thing on your mind. It’s true that it is much easier to spend than to save. Unfortunately, life is very unpredictable and unforeseen things happen that can put a huge dent on your finances – sometimes prompting you to get a loan. And with a loan comes interest, and you get caught in a vicious cycle of burying yourself in debt. Having a good amount of savings can lessen the financial effect of having these emergencies.
I am lucky to have been taught how to save at a early age, that’s why it comes naturally to me now. But don’t be discouraged if you’re not used to saving money, as it is never too late to start. Below are some tips that can help you get started. I’m not a financial professional, but maybe you can find some these tips useful 😊
1. Pay yourself first
This is already a cliche, but it’s crucial.When you receive your salary, this is what usually happens:
Income – Expenses = Savings
The problem with this formula is that there usually isn’t anything left after paying all your bills. Review your expenses and re-evaluate your priorities. Use the formula below instead to make sure that your savings add up:
Income – Savings = Expenses
2. Start small
Start saving a small portion of your income and do it consistently. It doesn’t matter how small the amount is. The goal is to establish saving as a habit. Once you get the hang of it, then gradually increase the amount that you save.
3. Make your purchases intentional
Before buying something, have a quick Q&A with yourself. Do you actually need this item? Why are you buying it? Were you already intending to buy it, or did you just want it because you saw it?
If you see something that you “think” you like, wait for at least a day. My personal rule is that the more expensive the item is, the more time I’ll think about it. Most often than not, you have already forgotten about it after a few days. But if it’s still on your mind after some time and you have the money to buy it (preferably NOT via credit card), then by all means, go ahead and purchase it.
4. Give supermarket brands a chance
One of my favorite shows is called “Eat Well For Less”, wherein they help families in the UK lessen their shopping expenses. One of the things that they do is swap the family’s supermarket purchases, remove the labels, and let the family decide if they like the new product, and if they are willing to swap their normal brand. Most of the time, the families like the swaps, which turn out to be cheaper supermarket brands. The lesson is not to purchase products just because of the brand.
5. Stop keeping up with the Joneses
“Stop keeping up with the Joneses. They’re broke.” -Dave Ramsey
6. Start today
You can read hundreds of money-saving tips and hacks. But if you don’t start, you won’t move forward. Start small, if you must. But start today.
Seeing your savings grow is one of the most satisfying things. Having a good amount of savings allows you to live life the way you want to. It gives you peace of mind and lifts the heavy burden of worrying about you and your family’s financial situation. Celebrate small wins and don’t give up. Good luck! 👍