By the end of the month, our salary is more in demand than a celebrity – or a batsman who hit the winning runs. Saving seems impossible sometimes. We’ve got places to go, bills to pay, and we’ve still got to find ways to enjoy ourselves too. Forget about the future, we’ve got problems today! But saving now can help you out of a tough spot later on. Try these surprisingly simple tips that’ll take the suffering out of saving
- Visualize your goals
Get your goals where you can see them. Want that fancy new phone? Saving up for a car? Got a holiday in mind? Keep a picture of it in your purse or wallet to remind you what you’re aiming for every time you spend on something. You could even write the cost (and how much you’ve saved) on that picture for extra motivation.
- Keep Track
Just like dieting, if you’re paying attention, you’ll spend less. Write down everything you spend. There are some great apps that let you enter your spending on your smartphone, and since you probably take that everywhere, you can log your expenses right away. That way you won’t put it off and (conveniently) forget to track what you’ve spent. But if you want to sort through it in your own time, pick a time each day or week, and pour it all into a trusty spreadsheet. It doesn’t even have to be very complicated, just enough so you can figure out what you’re spending the most on. Once you’ve figured out how much you’ve been spending (yes, it’s always more than we guess), you’ll have a better idea where you can trim it down a bit.
- Set targets & reward yourself
Part three is mini-goals (if you want to avoid that dreaded ‘b’ word – budget). Note how much you want to save each week. Since you’ve already figured out what you’re spending on, you could see what you can do without that week. Maybe buy one less cup of coffee, skip a chocolate or snack, or take the bus one day instead of a tuk - remember, it’s all part of a bigger plan! Don’t forget to set an amount aside before you spend, rather than waiting to see what’s left over. Sometimes it helps if you gamify your goals and give yourself a (inexpensive) treat each time you hit one.
- Be on time
Not all of saving is about cutting down on things you enjoy. If you often delay paying credit card bills, for example, you could save yourself the interest by paying them a bit earlier. Avoid late fees at libraries too, for little savings that add up. This could work with going places too, because if you’re not rushed, you can use cheaper forms of transport.
- Deal with it
Plan ahead and save big purchases like a wardrobe overhaul for holiday seasons, like near Avurudhu or New Year, when you know they’ll have discounts everywhere. Credit cards come with some pretty good offers too, so if you have one, check out what you’re eligible for. Keep an eye out for deals, but don’t get tricked into buying things you don’t need just because they’re discounted.
Now get out there and conquer your saving goals! And remember, it’s important to save some fun for yourself too.