No, this article will not give you a lecture on why you need to save money, what are the advantages of saving money, etc, etc. I am not going to share any such advice. REALLY! I will share some real ways that will help you save money and make savings a lifelong habit through my experience.

Start Saving, Before It’s Too Late

Financial_Planning
Financial Planning

1. Start with small, steady steps

You must have heard the phrase – “slow and steady wins the race”. We should use the same approach while saving and investing. It is not going to be easy for many of us to have and achieve discipline in finances all the time. So, we should start with small steps to inculcate the saving and investing habit. We should set up a small target amount to be saved in the beginning from our income.

You need not wait for a big amount to invest and save. You can make small investments as soon as you have some savings or even before that – when you just get your income or pocket money. Investing early is financially beneficial. When you start to meet up these small targets, you will get confident and motivated to save more.

Now, it’s high time to set yourself bigger targets. You should be regular in your savings and investments, so that you have an idea of how much time it will take to meet your goals and targets, and you are able to generate this much amount in a defined time. Try investing in PPF(Public Provident Fund), MF(Mutual Funds), SIP(Systematic Investment Plan), or Bank RD(Recurring Deposit).

2. Plan Your Shopping Beforehand

Most of us love shopping. Shopping malls have attractive displays that tempt us to buy. Every day and a month or on weekends, we see sales posters in malls and shops, that attract us to at least visit it. Before shopping, especially in a mall, it is best to make a list beforehand of the things to buy or do there.

When your hand reaches out for something, check the list, and if it is not there in the list, put the stuff back in its place. It is best to use cash to shop – you will feel the real pain. You will have an idea of the money you are spending and be more conscious about it.

Many of us like to visit the mall as a weekend trip or activity and end up splurging. Try to go to shopping centers only if it is necessary.

3. Make a Budget and Stick to it

It is important to create a monthly budget of Income and Expenses before starting the month. Create a realistic budget of your expenses that should include all the things necessary to spend the month, like, groceries, Travel, House Rent, and other bills. Then set a target amount to be saved every month. This is not enough, you also need to stick to the budget as well.

Track your expenses and make sure you are not going beyond your budget limit. If some expenses are going beyond your budget, try to cut down other expenses so that the target amount to be saved is not compromised.

4. Avoid Extensive Use of Credit Cards or Prepaid Cards

You like something and want it but do not have enough money to buy it. That is not a problem as a simple swipe of the credit card or prepaid card gives you what you want. Credit cards are convenient when we are spending but when the bill generates, we realize that we went overboard. Do not keep more than 1 or 2 credit cards and use them only for emergencies like medical expenses.

You should pay the bills on time and pay the full amount due to avoid penalty charges or late fees and of course, impact on your credit history or credit score. It will also save money and time that you lose in terms of calling up the credit card company and trying out innovative ways to reverse the charges.

Moreover, if you really want something, and you save up till you have enough money to buy it, you’ll understand the difference between wanting or just an impulse. You will value the purchase more as you know you have worked hard to get it.

5. Check Your Bills

Do you assess the amount you spend on Petrol, Electricity, Mobile Recharges/bills, Cable TV, WiFi Plans, etc? When the electricity bill comes or when you see the fuel bill, you cringe at the amount to be paid. Instead, ensure that you or your family does not waste electricity by having energy-efficient appliances in the house and unplugging/turning off appliances when not in use.

You should check alternatives of commute to work instead of your private vehicle. You can try out public transport or taxi sharing. You might also meet interesting people that way.

Relook at your mobile plans, internet plans, and cable TV charges. Cut out the unnecessary plans or cut out channels you don’t watch ever. If you find any other economic plan which helps you get your work done and in cost-cutting, choose that and save yourself some bucks of money.

6. Donate to Yourself

This is a great idea. It helps in two ways. Every time you splurge to make unplanned expenses, put away a small percentage of the spent amount in a box, or give that percentage of the amount to your parents, they will keep it safe for sure. This will make you think twice before buying something and also increase your savings, as money would get accumulated over a period of time if you don’t follow your budget.

7. New Ways to Earn Money

You need not stop at earning one income. Were you part of any club in your college days? Were you the one who everyone went to when they had to finish up their projects?

Do freelance for assignments where your talent lies. You could take up creative projects, take tutions, or be part of something you are interested in as a part-time worker.

You will earn more, which will lead to saving more, and at the same time you might find your true calling or end up starting a new business or profession or startup.

These steps will ensure that you get into the habit of savings and investing. Savings will ensure that you have a stronger financial base. You will feel good that you achieved your targets and just feeling good about yourself definitely does wonders to the mind and body.

By The Way, do you use any other methods or techniques to save or invest money for your future? Let us know in the comments below!



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