Saving money has never been a bad idea. As another year starts, it is always part of our resolutions to save money. Unfortunately, “I’m going to save money this year” can sometimes turn out to be one of the biggest lies we tell ourselves. Everyone wants to save money but sometimes, the hardest thing about saving is just getting started.
Let me share a few (but essential) money saving secrets that might actually change your life!
1. Set your savings goals
Start your money saving journey by setting a goal based on your salary range. Visualize what you are saving for. Perhaps you are saving for a trip abroad, education, or even for a concert, start by calculating its cost and how long it will take you to reach that amount. Set a savings target together with a timeline so you will know how much you need to save to achieve your goal.
2. Decide on your priorities
Make a list of all your monthly expenses and arrange your expenses from most important to least. Divide it into categories together with its corresponding amount. Take note of your long term goals such as your (child’s) tuition, car, or retirement.
3. Follow the 50-20-30 rule
Get serious about your budgeting. The 50-20-30 rule states that you should allocate 50% of your salary or income to your top necessities such as bills, groceries, and rent or mortgage; 20% for your financial priorities–that could mean your savings, investments, or to pay off your debt; and the remaining 30% for your lifestyle choices or your wants–which includes things like a new phone, concerts, or vacation.
DIY surely is an important part of frugal life. Before running to the store to buy that expensive shelf, why not try to do it yourself? It will not only save you big bucks, but it will also reward you with a sense of pride. It will help you learn to do things on your own without having to hire professionals.
For DIY tips, you may visit DIY Homeowner Tips.
5. Leave your bad habits
Let’s face it, some habits make you spend a lot of money—especially if you’re a heavy smoker or a shopaholic. There’s no doubt these are two of the hardest habits to break. However, these habits can be deadly to your budget. Find a way to be able to break these bad habits completely. Make yourself busy to avoid temptations like add work hours or read books.
6. Eat at home
I have realized this when I started paying my own bills. As mom used to say, “there’s food at home”. And it actually saves you a couple hundreds when you start to refrain yourself from eating out. If you need to eat at school or at the office, you can always pack your lunch. Additionally, to avoid having expired food in your fridge, have an “eat me” basket and fill it with items that are about to expire. This gives you a heads up on what to consume or eat first.
7. Try a spending freeze
Spending freeze means not buying unnecessary things for a week or two. It can be hard, but the benefits far outweigh the hassle. It will help you prepare your wallet for more important things coming up. I was able to save over a thousand dollars by doing this alone!
8. Stick with the list
Sticking to your shopping list will help you stay on the budget. Sure, it’s easy to add something to your cart. But those little additional purchases that aren’t included in your list could end up blowing the budget. Learn to say no to temptations.
9. Refrain from online shopping
Online shopping is a really convenient way to shop, yes, you can make purchases with as little as one click. It is so convenient that it makes you spend a lot and the next thing you know you’re already buried in debt.
10. Use coupons
Free food? A grocery discount? Who doesn’t want that? Keep your coupons in a convenient location and use them when you can. Did you know that even millionaires still use coupons to save money? So if you haven’t yet, start collecting coupons as it can save you big!