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You do not need to be in a financial rut to start thinking about saving money.
Even if your economic situation is agreeable, some extra money in your bank account will add to your sense of personal security and confidence in your comfortable future.
With a bit of cash hoarded in your bank, you will be able to afford a pleasant holiday, to pay for college courses, make a business investment, or help the less fortunate. In adverse circumstances, your savings will help you stay afloat until your luck improves.
These are, of course, undeniable facts that many would find banal.
Nobody is idealistic enough anymore to call for the abolishment of currency or deride its importance in our lives. We have long learned that we need money and not a small amount of it to live well.
The major complaint people usually voice against money is that it has a tendency to slip through our fingers. Keeping money in our pockets, especially in our age of incessantly growing prices, is next to impossible, people say.
Yet even though saving money may not be easy, this is not an impossible mission.
There are well-defined strategies that, if employed consistently, will enable people to increase their funds without earning more. These strategies may be particularly helpful to the young generation, whose inexperience at dealing with money makes it most open to financial difficulties.
In what follows, we are offering a word of practical advice on how to end each month with more money stashed, whereas other valuable suggestions on various monetary matters are expressed on the leading finance site for millennials.
But before we go into detail, we want to change your outlook on the process of saving money. There is nothing restrictive in saving, as you might fear: you will not be on bread and water the whole month in order to have more money left by its end.
You will need simply to practice a smarter approach to your personal finances, while still enjoying all those pleasures that life can offer.
To cut a specific amount of money out of your earnings, you need to understand how much you spend overall each month.
That is, you need to establish your monthly budget. To this end, try the following experiment. Keep track of your every payment for a month: preserve all of your receipts, write down the cash passed from your hands to the hands of salesmen, and then divide all of your spent money into categories.
By the month’s end, tally up all of what you have spent so far in each area: your rent, bills, car, medicine, food, and entertainment.
Keeping a close watch on your spending will give you a clear idea where your money flows, where you go overboard, where you can tighten your belt, and into what you can forgo investing money altogether.
With all of your monthly spends summed up, deduct the received amount out of your salary and see how much money is left. Then, decide what amount you can practically put aside as savings.
If you tend to overspend, make another experiment: do not use your credit or debit card for a month. Take some cash out of your account, place it into an envelope, and live entirely on it.
The biggest danger contained in our plastic cards is that we do not feel how much we spend when we swipe them. Tangible paper money in our wallets is, by contrast, easily countable.
If we know that it is coming to an end, we will have no choice but to rein in our desire to buy. Kept thus in check, you will see how many unnecessary objects you will refrain from purchasing during this experiment with cash.
Once you have established how much money you can afford to put aside every month, help yourself to achieve this goal by setting up an automated saving arrangement.
Because it is deducted automatically, you will not be able to forget to take a predefined amount from your monthly budget. Nor will you be occasionally tempted to skip putting it aside.
Probably the quickest way to perform this procedure is by setting up a standing order, that is, a regular payment, from your general bank account to your savings account.
If you know that you overspend, plan your major purchases ahead. Most of the countries have determined sales periods such the ends of every season and big holidays – Black Friday, Christmas, Boxing Day, Easter, and others.
Do not just make your major purchases of electronics, furniture, and appliances spontaneously but wait until these holidays when prices are significantly reduced.
Waiting will also save you from splashing on unnecessary items, a mistake we often make on the spur of the moment swayed by our emotions. Chances are that if you do not buy an item impulsively, you will not return to the shop, after you have ruminated and slept on the idea for a while.
Online shopping, like credit cards, is yet another temptation that often seduces us into debts and unnecessary spending.
Try to curb your desire to buy online by making it more difficult for yourself to pay for it. If your payment method is set automatically on a website, then you are indeed just a click away from finalizing your transaction.
But if you disallow the system to remember the details of your credit card or your billing address, you will think twice before buying, only because you might feel lazy to fill in all required details. This simple tactic will prevent you from making purchases impromptu.
Like your shopping habits, your entertainment patterns can be kept in check. If you are an avid museum goer, do not visit exhibitions whenever you feel inspired to do so. Museums and national parks have free days, some once a month, some oftener.
By planning to visit your favorite museum on a free day, you will save a lot of money, since entrance fees are usually quite costly. If you qualify, do not forget to use student, senior, or other discounts, when you buy tickets for a cinema or concert.
Those who look after their bodies and train in a gym can save money by exercising at home. Beachbody has a rich choice of programs created by world-renowned celebrity trainers which you can buy for an affordable price.
Working out with Beachbody’s DVD at home is much more efficient than going to the gym, where most of the movements you make incorrectly, for a wrong period of time, and where you often need to wait for devices to become available or machines vacated.
Monthly, you can also save on car expenses and internet services. Just by changing your cable package, you can pay up to 50 dollars less for your internet. Your cell phone plan should also be smartly chosen, because you can save a lot of money on your cell phone bill.
If you are burdened by a student loan, set up an income-driven repayment plan. It may save you up to several hundred dollars per month.
There are numerous other methods to make your financial situation better. What you just need to remember is that, in whatever financial dire straits you may find yourself at present, you can always have more money by making smart saving choices.