It is always a good idea to evaluate your spending habits. Sometimes when times are good we get away from the financial disciplines that we so desperately need. When times are tough, we suddenly have an interest in where our money is going.
Regardless of the situation that you currently find yourself in, I want you to get better on how to save money. Saving money is one of the best financial decisions you could ever make. Set a savings goal between now and the next 12 months and do your best to reach it.
If you are just starting out, make a goal of saving $1,000. If you are already at that level, shoot for a savings of 3-4 months of living expenses. That way you will be ready if something were to go wrong. Here are some practical saving tips that you can begin to use today.
10 Tips on How to Save Money
2. Do not have a debit card for your savings account – If you want to save money, you have to make it more difficult to “tap” into your savings account. Carrying a debit card for your savings account is a bad idea. You do not want it to be too accessible.
3. Set up an automatic withdrawal (just like paying a bill) – What about seeing your savings as a monthly bill? Start small and make it bigger over time. Pay into your savings account just as if you were paying a bill (an make it automatic.)
4. Open a savings account with a separate bank from your checking - When you have money in a different bank from your checking account, it becomes much harder to spend it. Most of the time it takes 3-4 days for the transaction to process. This can curb bad spending habits if you have to wait a few days for your cash.
5. Open savings accounts that have penalties – This can be good for those of you who need higher accountability. If you really do not want to touch the money on your savings, sign up with a bank that charges fees for going under a certain balance. Again, not ideal for everyone, but it might be just what some of you “free spirits” need.
6. Take the time to write a grocery list – We have all often heard that it is a bad idea to go to the grocery store hungry. The same is true about going to the store without a specific list.
7. Always decide to “sleep on it” when considering large purchases – you can set the dollar amount to what ever you wish. Maybe $100 to start. If something is going to cost you more than your decided amount, then you need to sleep on it first.
8. Buy used whenever possible – Not everything needs to be bought brand new. Some things are just as nice used if you just take the time to look. Whether is is clothes, cars, or a fishing boat, decide to look for deals on used merchandise.
9. Use natural lighting – Open the blinds as much as you can at home and allow the natural lighting to shine in. It will save you money on your electricity if you do.
10. Change out the showerhead in your bathroom – There are now affordable energy-efficient shower heads that you can use that can save you money. They can save you gallons upon gallons of water over the course of the year.
If you want to learn how to save money, just start using some of the examples above. I think most of us do not save money because we do not see the immediate benefit. Saving money slow and steady is the best way to go about it.