Saving money is the genesis of a successful financial future. Saving will help you attain all your future financial aspirations. Whether it is securing your retirement, buying your home, securing your children’s education or simply attaining your personal goals such as buying a car or a gift for a friend, saving is the surest pathway. Saving is not only about spending less but it is a combination of several factors. One has to decide how much to save, and how to keep it secure. Here are a few steps to saving money easily.
1. Debts are the opposite of savings. Debts and savings are like darkness and light. To get light, you have to kill off the darkness. Eliminate all the debts first and avoid getting into any debts so as to achieve better savings. The money you spend on servicing debts will all be directed to savings and you will be better off for it. Debts usually earn interest which is an expense that you can stave off completely and instead direct the funds to a savings account.
2. One should also set saving goals for guidance. Goals can be short term or long term. Short term goals are normally for lesser amounts and will not entail as much dedication and discipline as the long term goals. An example of a short term goal is buying an electronic gadget while a long term saving goal could be buying a house or saving up for your retirement. Saving to buy a sound system may need about 6 months to a year of saving depending on how much you are saving while a long term goal may call for a lifestyle shift as it may take more than 10 years to achieve the goal.
3. To save effectively one needs to always record their expenses. Writing down what you spend will effectively help you calculate how much your expenses are. It will then help you know how much you have saved. Savings is the difference of what you spend from what you earn. Get a place where you will write down every single expense. This could be on a notepad that you carry around. Do this for a given period of time so that you can have a feel of what your general spending habits are.
4. After putting down your expenses for a given period of time, you can then review the list. While reviewing the list you are likely to see many items that are not necessary but have costs that accumulate to astonishing sums. These expenses should be cut back as much as possible in future and the funds channeled into savings.
5. After trimming your costs, calculate how much savings you can potentially make and compare this to your saving goals. Assessing your goals versus the savings you can potentially make will help you be more realistic in the goals you set.
6. Once you know how much you can save monthly, you will then be able to know how much time it will take for you to attain your savings target. You can then put down your goal for example; I will buy my car in two years’ time.
7. After you decide on your savings goal, make a budget of how you are going to be spending your earnings so as to attain the given amount of savings. This is especially important in setting a limit on how much you can spend on non-essentials such as entertainment.
8. To be able to safely keep the money you have struggled to save, it is important to open a good savings account. It is best to open a savings account that will over time earn interest. Opening a savings account is important since it will help you keep track of your savings better since it will be separate from your regular account whose values keep changing and does not earn you interest.
9. When you get your paycheck, it is advisable to first put aside the savings and deposit them into the interest earning savings account. This is especially important since unexpected things may come up that will tempt you to use the savings money. For example a friend may call you up for a function that you will be tempted to attend, but if you have your money safely stashed away, you will be able to avoid it.
10. Avoid the use of credit cards. When using credit cards it is easy to overspend and there are other extra costs involved which you did not budget for. It is also hard to keep track of the balance when using a credit card.