Saving money is hard—we all know that. But, it’s only as hard as you make it. Once you take the initiative it becomes a lifestyle. You probably said many times in your head “I really need to start saving money.” What are you waiting for? All you need to do is consistently follow these steps—trust me, it’s simple.
Realize that you need to start saving.
The first step to solve any issue is to be self aware. It’s easy to be in denial, so if you’re conscious of your habits then you’ve already won half of the battle.
When you’re aware of the negative spending habits, you start second guessing every cash exchange, swipe, and proceed to checkout click. Even if you continue to spend carelessly, the “should I do this” thought will linger in the back of your mind.
Separate your wants from your needs.
It’s obvious that you can’t avoid spending money on certain things: bills, children, and food are musts. Other things you can live without.
You don’t need to upgrade your phone when the contract is up—you want to upgrade it. You don’t need to buy that fancy purse displayed in the window—you want that new purse . You don’t need that premium cable package when your barely home to watch TV in the first place—you want the premium cable package “just in case.”
Create a new zero.
After you budget your monthly expenses and cut back from all the things you don’t need, set a new benchmark in your savings that you cannot go below.
For example, if after all your expenses each month you usually end up with $500 in your account—act like that’s zero dollars. Do everything in your power not to have your account fall below$500. If friends ask you out to eat; say no because you can’t go below $500. Now lets say time passes and you save a little more money, make $550 your new zero and keep doing this system forever.Your saving account will keep growing.
Pay yourself before you pay Uncle Sam.
When people first get their paychecks or if it’s the time of the month that their bills are due, they are quick to throw all their money at those companies they owe. Hold on for a second—take a step back and relax, ease off the pressure.
The first thing you do when you get your money is put a certain amount that you’re comfortable with into your savings. Before any bills are paid, before any money is spent, give yourself the money you worked hard for before giving it to the government. Realistically, what’s the worst that that happen if you’re a few days late when your bills are due? Credit yourself first.
If you want more many, than you can—its not that hard. All you need is to take the first step and have a little but of will-power. There is much power in saying no—no is your friend if you want more money. More importantly, stay consistent so saving becomes internalized and a way of life.
Spencer Trotman is a college senior majoring in communications with a focus in journalism. Studying the art of personal finance since high school and guided many friends and family to better financial stability. Writer for Buffalo.com.
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Category: Money Basics