We always wonder how to save money and keep roaming around from one post to the other. This blog post is here to help you get a head start on saving money.
Essentially, saving money has nothing to do with your current circumstance. Whatever be your circumstance, you can still save money. All it takes is a little motivation and discipline to create a habit of saving. Both motivation and discipline can be easily achieved using the following steps.
Knowing how to save money requires to initially set specific goals. A goal can be as simple as wanting to buy a PS4 by paying in cash! Imagine that feeling! No more EMIs or money slavery. Set a goal to inspire yourself to save. Once you start with a saving goal, it will be easier to motivate yourself to save money. And once you get to the habit of saving, it will be harder to break it later.
Get A Goal Poster
Once you have set a goal, make a big poster of the object of your goal using canva or any other tool available online. Get a printout using printvenue or vistaprint. Paste it at the place that you might see daily as soon as you get up. It can be next to the mirror in your bathroom where you will see it while brushing your teeth. The point is to keep reminding yourself daily to work towards your goal by saving consistently.
Get a Goal Card and keep it in your purse
This is a wonderful hack to ensure you don’t spend a lot of money and start consciously saving. Get a miniature version of the goal poster and print it in the size of a visiting card. Now keep this visiting card in your purse where you usually draw money out from. Every time you draw out money, you will consciously see your goal and think twice before spending on that worthless coffee!
The next thing to do is to budget your money (I know how dreaded that word sounds!). It’s not as difficult as it sounds. All you need to do is create a simple list of things you spend money on, like fuel, coffee, food, rent, etc. Usually, if you observe, you usually spend a standard amount of money every month on these items. Just get a small notebook or use any note-keeping app to start noting any expense that you do in a month. There is no need to budget at this stage. At the end of the month, sit on a lazy morning Sunday and add each category of expense to understand where you spend. Then, simply allot a round figure for that category in your budget.
For example, if you spent Rs. 1510 on eating out in the previous month, then budget it to the largest round number. In this case, it will be 1500. The minute you get your salary, allot Rs. 1500 for eating outside. Similarly do the other categories. With this exercise, you will actually come to know of 2 things:
- How much do you actually spend in a month
- Amount of money left after spending. This is the amount that can be saved!
- Bonus Point: If there is no amount left for saving, you can adjust your spending to leave some.
Automate your savings
This is a no-brainer, yet people suffer the consequences of not doing this simple task of automating savings. When you keep wondering on how to save money, you could simply start an RD[Recurring Deposit] at a bank. This forces you to save without actually you doing anything. Set a date close enough to your salary date for the recurring deposit. For example, if you receive your salary on 1st of every month, then set the recurring deposit debit date as 5th of every month. That way you will still have cash in the account and you will be only spend whatever is left after saving. This is similar to what Robert Kiyosaki says:
Pay yourself first before you pay anybody else.
Spend in cash (atleast initially!)
I know this is contrary to what you may have heard. But let me explain. Have you ever wondered how our mothers were able to run a family with whatever salary our fathers used to get? I’m talking of the 90’s moms and fathers who used to save and that’s probably how a lot of us went to college with their savings. If you had noticed, they used to keep either envelopes or boxes with money in it. They used to split the expense for a month and assign an envelope or a box to a category.
For example, you would have found an envelope for Recreation, Cinema, EB Bill, Gas Bill, Servant Maid and so on. She would have kept separate cash in all these envelopes at the beginning of the month and when the time came for spending or giving money for servant maid, outside food, cinema and so on, she would dutifully take money from the respective categories and spend. This gives the flexibility of knowing how much you’re spending and how much is left. And the best part of this is that, at the end of the month, if there is any leftover money, you can immediately put it as a fixed deposit in the bank. Spending in cash lets you feel the money physically in your hands and this makes you conscious of what you’re spending. I’m not saying this is required completely, but atleast initially, until you get into the habit of saving.
These steps alone will give a serious head start on saving money. Follow these steps and start minting some money!