As an adult, you should know the importance of having some savings. The unpredictability of modern life needs one to always have some back up funds stashed somewhere. However, most people do not have a functional savings plan. Just like going to the gym, most people manage to begin the journey, some even have the plan all figured out. However, they postpone indefinitely hoping to get started "tomorrow".
To paraphrase a certain pop musician, the "tomorrow never comes”. The following are some tips to help you start your journey to a functional savings program.
1. Avoid impulse buying
One trick that retailers use to entice potential customers to spend more money in their stores is strategically placing products and offering attractive discounts. This makes you want to spend more than you had planned. For instance, if you had budgeted to buy a new phone, they will place some cool earphones strategically to lure you. Chances are that you will be tempted to buy them thus messing up your budget.
To avoid unplanned expenses try to follow the 30-day rule of spending. It states that before you make any purchases outside your usual budget, you need to sleep on it for 30 days. The rationale is that by the time a month is over, you will have figured out if that is what you really want.
2. Track your expenses
You cannot really save money without a clue of how much you spend and at what times. To begin your saving journey, figure out a way to track your expenses (there is an app for that) and categorize them into sections such as groceries, rent/mortgages and clothing. This will enable you to figure out your additional expenses by comparing current spending with past expenses. You will be in a position to cut down on unnecessary expenditure and increase your savings.
3. Create monthly budgets
After figuring out how much you spend every month, the next step is to create a monthly budget that you should commit to follow. Take stock of your total income per month and reconcile it with your expenses. Next, eliminate the unnecessary expenses but be sure to budget for some recreational activities like that weekly drink at your local bar. Determine your saving target and be sure to remit it to your savings account as soon as your employer credits your account. Make a pact with yourself to never touch the savings unless you have a serious emergency.
4. Reduce your vehicle expenses
Your car is probably your only means to get around since you use it to get to the grocery store, to the office, and to visit your friends. When all's said and done, you find yourself with a bloated gas budget. If your monthly budget has no allowance for that, you will always be tempted to pinch a little from your savings.
Spending on a gasoline can be a real headache if you have serious saving goals, so why not get rid of the car? You can choose walk or cycle to work every morning. You can to walk to the grocery store instead of driving. The less driving you do the less chances of landing a ticket. If you really have to use your car, you can also look for cheap auto insurance quotes and save even more.
5. Avoid eating out
Your mom must have taught you that eating at home was a great way to save money. Cooking and eating at home is cheaper and tastier than eating at fancy restaurants. Eating out not only adds to your food budget but also makes you unhealthy. Carrying homemade food to work is also a great way to eat healthy and save more. You can also reduce your entertainment budget by having home dinners or lunches with your friends and family. This is a great time to catch and maybe catch a movie at home.
Saving is one of the most rewarding habits that you can develop at any age. There are many ways to do so. You can avoid impulse buying, track your expenses closely, follow a monthly budget, reduce vehicular expenses, and stop eating out. You will be amazed at how much you can accumulate in savings from these simple steps.