Saving is something a lot of us aspire to, and less of us actually get around to doing. In saying that, it’s important to start saving, no matter what your current income level is.
It’s easy to tell yourself you don’t have enough to save right now, but I bet if you look at your current spending you’ll find you have at least some money that could be getting put aside for a rainy day.
This article is going to go through 7 ways you can get started saving, today.
- Budget, and be aware of what you have to budget with
Budgeting is perhaps the single best piece of financial advice available. Budgeting requires you to be intimately familiar with your income coming in, and your expenses going out, and encourages you to plan what to do with the rest.
Take some time one afternoon and figure out your current financial situation. Draft a budget that would allow it to continue in a way that included saving. Maybe this means cutting an unnecessary expense, maybe it means getting spending under control or debt repaid. Whatever it looks like, start budgeting.
- Know your temptations, and avoid them
We all have things we do that cripple us financially if we let them. Maybe it’s out of control spending habits, maybe it’s emotional spending, maybe it’s needing to be up to date on every newest iPhone. Whatever your temptation is, figure it out and take some time to analyze some alternatives to how you’ve currently been handling it. You’d be surprised how many temptations have an alternate path to a similar emotional result.
- Move your savings to a separate account
The easiest way to stop yourself from accidentally spending your savings is to remove them from your chequing account. You should still have regular access to them and be aware of the amounts, but this will discourage you from impulsively overspending from them as you will know you are taking from your savings.
This can also take the form of short-long term investments. Investments are a great way to protect you from yourself in keeping your money slightly less accessible, and putting it to work for you!
- Don’t be afraid to “miss out” every now and then
A lot of marketing (and sometimes social pressure) is built on the idea that you’re “missing out” if you don’t spend on the latest gadgets, or come out to the bar every weekend. The truth is that these expenses add up, and shouldn’t necessarily be thoughtlessly undertaken. Every now and then, missing out isn’t so bad at all.
- Be your own best record keeper
Know what plans you have made, your current situation details, and track your financial progress. Knowledge is power, and being a good and organized record keeper is a great way to keep yourself on track, financially and mentally.
- Set Goals for the Future
Where do you want to end up financially? What are the short and long term goals of you and your partner? Sit and take some time to figure out what these items might be, and make plans for them. This increases your chances of getting them, but it also encourages thinking about the future itself – something too many of us are unfortunately ignoring until it is too late.
- The future includes retirement
This means thinking about retirement too. In so far as it’s important to save for short term goals, one of your longer term goals should be preparing for inevitable retirement. That means you should be saving for retirement now, in your twenties, rather than waiting until you’re 50 and it seems like it’s too late to live your final years comfortably.
There are a lot of myths about saving, and one of the biggest ones is that you have to have a certain amount of money to start doing it. No matter how much you’re making, or how much you can afford to save, getting started on these habits now is worth it (in both mental and financial rewards). So take some time, get your financial house in order, and start seeing those savings grow by the day!