Money is a sensitive topic. It’s something that is vital for living but at the same time we shouldn’t let it become the center of our universe.
Now, in most finance books, there is a central theme that most advocate – saving. Saving can turn your financial world around in a matter of years or even months. And for beginners, the very first step to saving is the most difficult one to take.
So how do you start? Start with knowing some important facts about money.
Facts About Money, Saving and Finances
It is a fact that you need to earn more than you spend
Saving Money Early is the Key
There is a higher risk for those that have higher rewards
Short term stock market goals can give you the highest return. However, they have the highest risk as well. To be able to keep it smart, invest only the money you can spare for these high risk investments. Or make sure that you are not splurging everything on this one-time, ultra high-risk venture.
The more diversified your portfolios, the less risk
Instead of investing money on a single high-risk account, dividing it into various accounts will keep you safe from a sudden plummet losses. Set aside something for security and for your long term goal.
Scam artists are always around
Scam artists lurk everywhere, they even cloth themselves in expensive suits and sway investors with honeyed words. Always check on people whom you do business with or companies whom you invest your money into. They may sound real, but there are so many things to watch out for. You can check on the internet or from your local government list of legal businesses.
Insurance should be ensured for rainy days
You shouldn’t forget that insurance should be a part of your financial plans. Plan it long term and choose an insurance company that will last for another 100 years. Choose your plans wisely too, don’t just listen to that insurance salesman.
Minimizing debt is useful
Tracking your credit score is a must
Tracking your credit scores helps you make wise decisions later.
Money Saving Tips
#1 Divide your paycheck
Divide your paycheck into envelopes. Label it with savings, monthly food allowance, bills and debt fee. Set aside something for fun as well. Know that you have to budget each for their own allocation. When they run out, live by your means. If there is any extra after a month, put it in your savings.
#2 Choose a bank with higher interest on savings
There are banks that will give you higher interest rates for your savings account, go to them. Often, it will also come with perks like no ATM fees and no overdraft fees. So scout your bank first before stashing your savings.
#3 Plan your withdrawal and ATM Trips
Impulsive ATM withdrawals are always a disaster. Plus it may incur withdrawal fees as well. Instead, withdraw a chunk of cash, keep it at home and bring a reasonable amount everyday or whenever you need it. To avoid further withdrawals, use the envelope trick above, assign each chunk of money to its envelope and stay away from the ATM.
#4 Plan your weekly meals
Planning your weekly meals help you to plan out your entire week’s spending. It will help you buy ingredients in one trip and save you gas. Plus you get to plan a healthy meal.
#5 Give up expensive habits
Slowly remove yourself from the usual expensive habits you have. Reduce on shopping, gambling, smoking, alcohol or even that daily cup of coffee. You will see later that this will cut a very big amount from your spending. Plus you can avoid some costly medical fees later once your bad habits catch up to you.
#6 Ditch clothes that are expensive to maintain
Don’t buy clothes that can only be dry cleaned. This will incur extra fees on your budget. Instead, look for alternatives and get those instead.
#7 Automate Savings
Automate savings help you save more since you won’t be tempted to cut costs. This is a feature of many banks where you get to transfer a specific amount of money from your current account to a different savings account. OR if this is not possible, you can ask your company to do so.
#8 Save on electricity
Plug out electrical devices when not in use. Save on heat from time to time by cuddling in extra blankets. Use a crock pot instead when cooking. Check for open crevices when powering your cooling system. Minimize television viewing.
#9 Shop for clothes and presents during sales
It’s not everyday that you need to buy clothes. Time your clothing shopping on store sales. This will help you save. Buy presents in advance as well, and do it on sale as well. And always, a day or two after holidays is the best day to buy marked down presents for the next year. Buy cards and gifts days after Christmas for next year’s celebration. Keep them for the meantime and excavate them from your closet the next year. Make sure it’s something that isn’t time and trend dependent.
#10 Stick to your shopping list
When you need to buy things, list them down and don’t let other things deter you once you’re in the grocery store.
#11 Go generic for inconsequential things
When it doesn’t require that you really need that brand, then choose a generic one. Generic ones may offer the same result and convenience to you. For example, use a lesser known brand for dish washing, for toothpaste or for your toilet bowl cleaner. You can try this with your cereals and your clothes too. Now, how do you make sure that you are still getting the same quality? Go online, check on forums. Search for “cheaper products with same quality as ______”. You have to realize that although brands may project stability, most of the time, it isn’t the quality anymore that we are paying for but the name itself.
#12 Use the 30 day rule
When you are tempted to buy something expensive, let that product wait for 30 days before actually buying it. The 30 days will make you see its importance or unimportance. If you still need it after 30 days, then go. But if not, save the money.
#13 Drop change in a jar
You would usually leave change scattered around your house but keeping it in one place will help you realize that they can add up to a significant amount. Save this change and deposit into your account later. Or you can use it when you go for groceries where you need to give a specific amount up to the cents.
#14 Buy groceries in bulk
Buying groceries in bulk is a good way to save money. Wholesale price is much cheaper than retail ones. If it’s perishable, have a friend share it with you.
#15 Cut your plastics or hide them
Cut your credit cards in order to avoid using them. They can be your worst nightmares later since they can fuel impulsive buying. Or if you can’t cut them, hide them in a secured box which requires extra effort to open.
#16 Walk or bike if possible
Walking and biking is healthy. If you have the time, do it on your way to work or when going for groceries. It will help you save money for fuel and it burns some fat as well.
#17 Take an easy part-time job
You have your day job but a side job can help add more to your savings. You can do some online jobs that wouldn’t take so much of your time or will exhaust you. One example is answering surveys online or doing some Virtual Assistant jobs.
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Money is a tricky business when it comes to saving. However, it can be managed and can be won. In no time, you will be rewarded with a better car and a better house just because of those savings you got from forgoing the urge to buy the latest iPhone every time it comes out or by hiding those credit cards every time eBay announces a sale.
Do you have any other money-saving tips?
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