To save money is often one of the top things in our New Year’s resolution list. Seeing that we’re less than two months away from welcoming 2015, we compiled you a list of painless but smart saving tricks and tips to help you get started on the right foot.
Set Aside a Fix Percentage
You don’t have to start saving with a bang. If you’re like most millenials, chances are high that you haven’t done it at all. To ease yourself into the habit, you have to start small say 10% of your income per month. If that’s too much for your financial circumstance, you can lower it down to 5 or 3%. The key is to determine a fix percentage you can handle to set aside every month without having to resort to borrowing.
Once you get a handle on things, you can increase the percentage over time. But again, the trick is not to deprive yourself. Rather you discipline yourself to live within your means and save the rest of the money for the future.
Set-up Automatic Savings
To make it even less painless on your lifestyle, you’d want to try to automate your savings. Based on the fix percentage or amount you set, your bank automatically deducts it from your pay check then transfers the money to your savings account.
Because the amount is automatically deducted, you’re saved the burden of manually transferring the money. But more importantly, you are in a way forced to live within what’s left behind after the saving deduction. Your savings keep growing each month before you know it. It’s the perfect set-up really and it has worked for numerous people.
Keep Your Savings Locked Away
Don’t stop with just automating your savings. You have to be extra vigilant when protecting your savings. Your job doesn’t stop with setting aside a certain amount per month. You need to further train yourself to think that the savings account is something that you cannot touch. It is your investment for the long haul and not for when you’re in the mood for a shopping spree.
To keep your savings safe, you have to lock it away where you cannot easily access the money. Experts suggest for you to add it into an account that is not linked with your checking account. You may also try an online bank. Either way, the goal is to keep it safe from you tapping on the funds whenever you feel like it.
Make a List of Reasonable Savings Use
Your savings are not only for the future but also for certain investments and situations. To avoid dipping on your funds unreasonably, you need to make a list of what you can and cannot use the savings for. This way, you know exactly when to say no and when to say yes. For instance, a pair black boots that’s on sale is not reasonable while an emergency car repair is.
Make Savings a Top Priority
If you want to take the habit of savings seriously and do it painlessly then you have to make it a priority. It should be the first deduction on your paycheck and in everything else. If you receive an unexpected tax return, for example, you wouldn’t want to splurge it all on a shopping spree. Instead, set aside a percentage of that tax return for savings then use what’s left for whatever you have in mind.
If you have coupons for grocery shopping, use them. If you have gift cards you’re not using, sell them and put the money in your savings account. Remember that you can find savings everywhere. It doesn’t matter if it’s just a couple of dollars. They still add up in the long run.
Pay in Cash
If you’re always tempted to use your card when there’s a sale in the mall, you are better off going back to how our ancestors use to shop. Start leaving behind your credit cards at home and bring only cash when grocery shopping, dining out or paying for gas.
Paying in cash will remind of how money feels in your hands. We’re so used to swiping our credit cards that we tend to forget that spending £3 on a cup coffee may be wasteful especially if you only have limited cash for the week.
Limit Your Spending
Contrary to popular belief, saving doesn’t mean that you have to forego luxuries. You just need to trim them down and add the extra cash to your savings account. For example, you can still dine out but consume less. Rather than buy an expensive drink, you can drink tap water or bring your own bottle if the restaurant allows it. The key is to cut back minimally so the difference is practically painless.