How You Can Start Saving Money Today

Saving money is not as easy as it sounds. Like it or not even the most cautious person finds it occasionally hard to match his or her saving goals. This is because the scales always tip dangerously close to rising expenses while the income remains constant. But living paycheck to paycheck is not a solution either. That would be simply existing on the edge when you could do a lot better. Change your outlook. Don’t look at saving money as a boring ‘grandma’ concept. Look at it as your salvation when you want to take off and step away from the grind for a few weeks. Money is not just your means to survive the day but your cushion for a cozy future.

Take a look at some of the best ways to start saving money now.

1. Clear Your Debts

The happiest person is one who doesn’t have debts hanging like an axe over his head. The first step to saving money is to make a list of all your debts and start clearing them off one by one. It may pinch for a month or two and you may have to make do with a limited budget for some time, but once you are done you are looking at a very rosy picture. Chunks of your money are no longer going out of your savings every month. What you earn will all be yours, to invest as well as spend.

2. Set Savings Goals

Saving will be easier when you set down some goals for yourself. What do you want to save for? For most of us simply the thought of saving doesn’t create excitement. But if we are looking forward to something – say a cruise, a new car, or even for a party, is reason enough. In the long run you will get into the habit of saving which will serve you well throughout your life.

3. Don’t Make Impulse Buys

We are our worst offenders when we walk through the stores every time and give in to impulse shopping. Most of the time we end up buying stuff which we either don’t like or hardly use at all. If you are anything like me then you would do well to do what I do when I go shopping. Leave the credit card at home and use either cash or a debit card. That way you only spend what you have.

4. Make a Grocery List

Every week we tend to over spend on the groceries and then shake our heads when we look at the bill. As you stroll through the store you pick out items which seems useful, but do you actually use all of them during the week? Make a list and stick to it. That way you will only buy what you need for the week. Extra items or exotic stuff can be bought when you plan a special meal or a party. And you will also end up wasting less stuff. You will be surprised to see the difference in your bill.

5. Plan Your Spending Before You Get Paid

Make sure your paycheck goes directly into your savings account. Then take a percentage of that money for your weekly or monthly use. Be sure to pre plan your spending before hand. For example take out $100 for groceries, $100 for guilt free spending, $50 for gas, ETC…

Doing this will insure you know exactly where your money is going. If you spend all the grocery money by mid week than you will know you might to revaluate your spending. Whenever you go to the ATM don’t give into your urges and take more money out. In fact do the opposite and take as little cash out as possible. At the end of the month you will be rewarded with a healthy balance statement.

6. Automate Your Bills

Set up all your bills to be paid electronically. Make a list and keep this amount in mind. Add your saving goal amount to it. Once you have this figure you will automatically ensure that this balance is always maintained so that all your bills are paid on time. No one wants to do without the utilities or pay penalties, so this could be a very strong motivation to save.

7. Eat At Home

Do you know how much money we spend every week just eating out? Most of us don’t give it much thought because eating out is easier and more fun. We end up not just spending a fortune on restaurants but also endanger our health by sending so much of fast food and processed food into our system. Who says home cooking means elaborate meals? Just stir in some veggies with your pasta, toss a salad and you are done.

8. Make Your Own Lunch

Continuing the home food thread I would like to point out that we spend more on our weekday lunches than we do elsewhere. You may think you are just spending $10 just when you do the math and reach the cumulative figure for the whole year you will see where I am going with this. Most of the time you opt for a sandwich or a burger anyways, right? Why not pack one from home?

9. Invite People Over Instead of Going Out

We look forward to our weekend plans and the parties that we throw for our friends and family. But come Sunday we also look back and see a huge dent in our savings made with all the party expenses. Next time you can control that dent.

Look up simple but exciting recipes which you can do at home and your food is taken care of. All you have to do is buy the drinks and you are all set. You can even try some cocktails at home, all at half the price that you would have otherwise spent.

10. Save Then Spend

All of the above would be difficult if you didn’t have a master plan. Most of us tend to set aside money that we need to spend and then save the rest. The right way to go about saving is actually the other way around. First set aside a figure that you want to save. If needs be transfer it to a different savings account and let the interests pile up. Now focus on the rest of your pay and plan your expenses around it. In a short time you will find yourself saving even from this expense account that you have created for yourself.