Author: Thyagarajan Gopalakrishnan
Saving money is always on the mind of everyone, but to take the first step and start saving is really difficult for most of us. We tend to put it off by giving some excuse or the other. Statistics prove this fact, more than 40% of Americans were found by the Federal Reserve to have savings less than $400. In case of an emergency of more than $400 they would have resorted to debt.
Though saving is easy why it becomes so difficult is because people spend on things that are not a priority. For example, spending money on new clothes when you do not need it, buying the big TV that you always yearned for or betting on sports, like in the NFL future odds – though there is a chance of return there, but gambling is always a risk. These are some of the examples and there can be many more.
To start saving the following secrets will help you:
- Make a budget. This is very important, you should assign the amount required for expenses such as groceries, rent, utilities, entertainment etc. By doing so you will be able to set aside a specific amount for savings.
- Start a journal and make a note of all the expenses that you incur. This is a great step to reduce unnecessary expenses and you will be thankful for it. You will know where the money is going, and you can curtail such expenses. Expenses such saved is money earned.
- If you have debt, try to finish the debt. It can be credit card debt, any EMI anything. Any money that goes out of your account on a regular basis for debt payment is an expense that stops you from saving money. Try to make enough to rid yourself of debt and once you have no debts you will be better off saving money.
- This secret is one that not many people believe, yes, you need to spend less on your groceries. If you are thinking that you spend only on what you require for sustenance and the grocery bills are not much, then you have to think again.
You spend a lot on groceries and when you sit down and analyse you will find that you are spending a lot on worthless things like soda and the like that only make you fat but are not healthy. If you spend on just healthy food and what you need you will be able to save a lot of money.
- If you have noticed, you will find that products that are advertised and well-known brands are very expensive. A new brand that provides the same quality may not be as expensive. Why not spend on the new brand rather than one that is selling due to its brand recognition rather than its utility. Most of us get caught with advertising and open our wallets. It need not be the case; we should opt for generic brands or new brands and save a ton of money.
- Ensure that a specific amount is set aside for savings every month. You can automate this process too nowadays. The money from your account will be moved to a savings account where it will earn interest too. You can contact your bank and do this, and this may seem small initially but over time you will find that it has become a lump sum amount.
- Finally, it is important to curb yourself before spending. You need determination to do this. Stop buying anything impulsively. Take your time, reflect and if you feel that you need to buy it as it has advantages then do so, or else keep your hard-earned money in your pocket.