Saving money is hard, especially with all of the sales and shiny gadgets to buy. But if you have a specific goal that you know will take lots of money to reach, you need to save. Get comfortable with NOT spending every dime you have. There are ways that you can save money without being the grinch. Then you can put it toward reaching your goal, whether that goal is to travel, to move, or to start your own business.
1. Set a Savings Goal
You should have a savings goals that you’re working toward. Make the goal a number that is specific and realistic for you. When you hit that goal, set another one. It’s a psychological trick that will put you in a savings mood. Without a goal, you just feel like you’re denying yourself fun and happiness. Try to make saving a positive thing by working toward the goal. That way you’ll feel that saving is an accomplishment and not a punishment.
2. Save Automatically
Psyching yourself out so that you don’t even realize money is there is a good move. You can set up your bank account to automatically transfer money into a savings account anytime you use your debit card. You could also set up an automatic transfer if you get checks deposited. Setting it up automatically will take you out of the process and make saving easy. You don’t have to consciously think about it; it just happens. Since it’s your savings account, you won’t be peeking at the balance every day and you won’t be spending. The money can sit there and build as long as you leave it in your savings account. No cheating.
3. Reduce One Habit
We all have vices. Some of us drink expensive designer coffee everyday. Some of us hit the vending machine multiple times a day. These habits aren’t necessarily the healthiest. Going cold turkey is a shock, so instead wean yourself off. Promise yourself that you’ll go without your daily treat at least twice a week. The savings will slowly add up and you won’t die by not having your coffee fix for a day. At least I hope you don’t.
4. Avoid Impulse Spending
Impulse spending is the death of any savings plans. We see something we want and grab it immediately. Most of the time, impulse buys aren’t necessary. Or we buy something that we get home and wonder how to use. Curb your impulse spending by only bringing cash. That’s torture. We live in a world of plastic, but it’s not impossible. At the very least, set a budget and stick to it. Give yourself a daily budget and decide what you’re going to spend it on whether it’s food, clothes or fun. Make it realistic for you. The point of a limit is to be aware of your spending, not to suck all of the fun out of life. When you hit the limit stop spending. I know it’s easier said than done, but if you cab stop knee jerk spending you’ll get closer to your savings goal faster.
5. Compare Before You Buy
With apps and internet on your phone, you should be able to compare prices at different stores easily. Of course, you then buy it for the best price. Comparison shop for food, gas and other items you need daily. Pay extra attention to items that have a high price tag, like electronics. You don’t have to go without it. You just want to pay less for it. Saving doesn’t have to be torture. Just making a few tweaks to your everyday habits can really add up.
Do you have any easy saving ideas? Share your tips.