If you want to start saving money, it can be difficult to know where to begin. The simple fact is: You can start saving today, right now. The hardest part about starting - and continuing - to save money in every part of your life is finding the motivation to do so.
Here you will learn the easiest and fastest ways to start saving money, and how to stay motivated throughout your journey to financial freedom.
Start Saving Money Today
The biggest trick to beginning a lifelong obsession with good saving? Start today. All too often, people get caught up in the small details of how and why to do things, like spending a week looking for a new savings account. If you need to save money, you need to make a pact with yourself today to begin immediately.
- Reconsider your spending
- Open up an account to deposit money into
- Evaluate what is important to you in life
- Start taking the necessary steps to get there
You’ve had your fun, your nights out, your credit card debts - and now you want to seriously save. If you’re really committed, then you’ll need to start strong: Stop paying for unnecessary stuff, stop over-consuming, start slashing expenses, start recouping that money.
You also need to remind yourself how good it will one day feel to be debt-free, own a home, have disposable cash, and a high-interest savings account that is full to the brim should anything unexpected occur.
Each day that passes where you do not have a savings plan, you’ll be one day behind in your lifetime savings. You won’t get that day back to earn or save, so make the most of it and make smart money choices daily to reach an end goal.
Money earned today cannot be earned tomorrow
While work may seem to drag on in the game of life, you only have a limited number of years to work, gain the wealth you need, and set yourself up for a comfortable existence beyond those working years.
Every dollar you earn, you will never earn again. Be smart, save some of it, invest some it, spend it to have fun but quite simply: Don’t waste your money. Define the word ‘waste’ to yourself and make a promise to yourself that you’ll never do that.
Being proactive with money and savings
Often we spend money and turn a blind eye to the fact that the money was meant to be used elsewhere, in turn leaving us reaching for our credit card or dipping into our savings account.
To start saving money, you really need to think a few steps ahead and plan where your money goes, what you want to put it toward, and be proactive about situations that will test your ability to not spend.
Ways to become proactive about your money include:
- Save for yearly expenses (like car costs, insurance policies and more)
- Create an effective budget that lists all of your expenses
- Know your limits; if you can’t resist credit cards, leave them at home
- Learn to appreciate that less is more when it comes to possessions
- Declutter your house regularly and reclaim lost money
- Anticipate things you may need to buy as far ahead as possible Look for ways to eliminate excess from your spending
- Try to avoid time-consuming activities when you could be focussing on earning and saving money
- Try to fix things before they become a problem - problems need solutions, solutions cost money
- Develop a new mindset where you solve problems instead of dwelling on them or avoiding them
- Focus on small things you can achieve today - every little bit counts
- Look for the best possible ways to automate your money: auto-savings, debt repayments, regular investments and more.
Think about where your savings and goals will be in the future, and visualise a pathway to get to that point.
Spend less and save more
The cornerstone to saving money is finding ways to spend less. Try to adopt a minimalist approach to buying things. Like most people, you probably love to spend. Why not find a new passion in saving money? The feeling of not spending money, growing your savings pool and seeing money left over each month is immensely satisfying, not to mention incredibly liberating.
If you are trying to begin your money-saving journey, it all starts here. The less you spend, the more savings you have. When you’re smart with the money that you do have, you can find ways to make that money stretch further.
Look for things in your lifestyle that are costing you money and not bringing much joy or benefit to your existence. It might mean slowing your alcohol consumption, giving up smoking, reducing how many magazines you buy, looking for cheaper grocery items or perhaps simply bringing your own lunch to work to save money - you can even start with guide on How To Save Money Every Day.
There are many ways to stop spending money - identify the easiest for you and cut them from your budget.
How to motivate yourself to save money
Motivation is what drives results. If you want to save money, you need to be driven. Finding that initial motivation and maintaining it is no easy task - it can be so easy to make progress and then feel like you’re taking two steps back when you make one, tiny slip-up in your savings strategy.
Finding your own personal motivation for saving will be the key to a successful budget that lasts a lifetime. Maybe you want to make saving a game, and challenge yourself to save in small steps?
Adopting the mindset around saving doesn’t have to be perfect right from the first day - think about something you really want, and save for it. Maybe you’ll sacrifice an extra coffee in the morning, or start making more food at home to cut back on your expenditure, and at the end of the week, you’ll have enough to buy that pair of shoes you really want - without the guilt and damage to your bank account.
Now start to think bigger. How would you save for a new car? A house? A family? Your retirement? Sure, it’ll take longer, but it’s exactly the same concept: focus on what you want, find the motivation to stick to your plan, and save to your goal.
Benefits of being debt-free
If you’re starting a budget because you’re in debt, getting motivated toward saving can be incredibly difficult. You’re already stuck in the situation, so why bother trying to get out? This type of thinking is all-too-common, but once you’re on the other side of your debt you’ll soon realise that it was the debt holding back your positive thinking in the first place.
Here are just a few reasons why becoming debt-free will make you feel amazing:
- You will live for the now - No longer will you be repaying past mistakes. For the first time in a long while, every dollar you make belongs to you and your ambitions. Your money will help you in ways that will make your life more enjoyable.
- You can now look for ways to make money - Once debt is off your mind, you can reassign valuable brainpower to making more money with your existing money, not just repaying debt. You can invest in shares, managed funds, term deposits and more. It’s time to make $1 earn another $1.
- Every pay day will be a step forward to your new world - Previously your pay day was a moment of excitement followed by disappointment at the realisation you are taking one step forward and two back because of your overwhelming debt.
- You will sleep better - Debt adds a level of stress to our lives that we do not comprehend until we clear it. With fewer debts, we have less to worry about, which means a calmer and healthier existence - and better night’s sleep.
- Your respect for money will be at an all-time high - It will feel like you have conquered a mountain and your value for money will be much higher; you will always remember the feeling of being overwhelmed by debt and now you will work to never fall back into the trap.
- You can look to see what other ‘debts’ you can now focus on - You could consider repaying your HECS/HELP debt if you have any; this will free up your cash flow from future pay cheques. You could also consider repaying your mortgage or car loan faster.
- You will set a great example for your loved ones - Being able to say you are debt-free will inspire your closest friends and family to do the same. Hopefully, your hard work will create a positive outcome for others around you.
- You can start paying cash for things - How often do you opt out of a purchase because you know the money is better placed on your debt instead? Now you can make stress-free decisions on how you want to use your money - it’s all yours.