Saving money is not an easy habit to get into, but it is a habit and it is one that you are best off learning soon if it is not a habit you are in already. The truth is that without savings you are always going to be in a precarious financial position and that is not a good place to be – especially as you get older or if you have dependents that rely on you to provide for them. So how do you go about developing a saving culture? Here are a few tips to get you onto the right road.
Start by clearing your debt
If you have debt then you need to recognize that the best form of saving is clearing it as soon as possible. Once that is out the way and you have taken care of the credit repairs then you are on a better wicket where you can start to work interest in your favour and plan more easily. Debt is a financial killer and you need to avoid it at all costs – and saving is one of the best and most effective ways of doing this.
No such thing as quick wins
Saving is hard work and you need to know that there are no such things as quick wins. It is much harder to save than it is to spend! So be aware of schemes or brokers who offer returns that seem too good to be true. If they sound like that then there is probably a catch and you should be wary. Saving is a slow process, it is accumulating wealth and it doesn’t happen overnight, but if you are patient and diligence you will be surprised how quickly you can actually see the benefits.
Look for small wins and use them to feed the saving machine that you are creating. If you have a car, use it effectively. Maybe look to join a ride share scheme so you save on petrol costs. Or rent your car out to an Uber driver who can use it while you are at work. Look for the gaps and angles that allow you to earn a little extra on the side and then make sure that the extra cash goes into a saving fund.
Have spend free days
Try to have days when you don’t spend at all – if you must turn it into a game. Eat leftovers, take a packed lunch to work, use public transport and don’t go to a bar or restaurant after work. It really isn’t that hard. But one spend free day a month turns a normal month into a 26 day bonus – and the money you would normally spend can be redirected to a saving fund.
Save for things
It is important that you actually save for a reason (or reasons). If you are just saving for no specific reason it will be a very challenging process – a bit like running is much easier if you are training for a race or with a specific purpose in mind. So know what you want to save for and recognize that there could be many reasons, both short term and long. Things like a new car, holidays, university study for your children and retirement are all common ideas.