Saving Money for a rainy day has never been a bad idea. It is a metaphor for preparing oneself for difficult times that may visit us in the future. If you’re young and bullet-proof, life’s challenges are no big deal, but if you have parents or grandparents to take care of, or if you are raising a new family, you cannot afford to stay in your selfish frame of mind. Helping the less fortunate, especially when they are close family, is never a bad thing. You cannot help anyone, if you are always struggling to make ends meet.
If you’re not a saver, saving money can be difficult in the beginning. It requires that you change your habits drastically. Rest assured that it gets easier with time. If you can’t save 100 dollars for an emergency fund, and you’re living from paycheck to paycheck, … it means you’re doing a lot of things wrong, and that maybe it’s time to listen to others when it comes to dealing with your finances.
You’re going to need discipline. It requires a special type of person that can put their foot down and say, “Enough is enough”! That’s why so few people are any good at saving money, and why they fail at saving any amount of money, period.
I use to always look for the easiest way out, the easiest way to do things. It seemed natural, and at first, it was a lot of fun, … shop til you drop, spend it all, … for tomorrow we die. It doesn’t work very well, when looking for best results, in times of crisis!
Here are my 10 Tips to Saving Money that can help you get your project started.
1. Learn all you can about Money
This is where I began my journey. How could I make and save something that I knew nothing about
“Money” is one of the most misunderstood words in the dictionary, and is it any wonder. Money is an essential tool used for all of our daily transactions, and the school system teaches little to NOTHING about it. You will have to teach yourself about money, if you have any hope of not ending up in poverty. Tough love, … you bet!
Number one tip, you don’t always have to pay for an education. If you do not have Internet access, your local library contains thousands of books on economics, money, and the world of finance. Every sub-division on money-matters has been researched, written on, and studied throughout the ages.
The Internet has made this exercise even more convenient and accessible. If you do not own a laptop, many libraries have laptops and computers that you can access for free with your library card. There is no excuse for you not to learn the basics of money management.
You cannot become a carpenter, a doctor, or a lawyer, without spending years learning the theory and skills necessary to become proficient in these fields. How do you expect to become knowledgeable in money, its expenditure and management, if you know nothing about the subject matter.
The money game begins here. Unless you understand the basic concepts, and the terminology you have little to no chance of getting ahead. There are many online courses to help you get started, that are free to explore. What have got to lose?
Instead of listening to the haters, stop wasting your time bad-mouthing money, learn about its purpose and how you can become better able to manage it for yourself, and for your family’s benefit. People either love or hate money, and very few people know the difference between money and currency. Begin by educating yourself on this essential skill.
Try, instead of always waiting for tomorrow or the next day. The next day may never come.
2. Income and Expenses
What is Income, and What are Expenses?
Begin here and keep it simple.
Income is all the monies that you earn in a given time period. Most bills and bank statements are issued on a monthly basis. I’m using the monthly amount here, because for most of us, mortgage payments, rent, heat, lights, water, and other such expenses are thrust upon us on a monthly basis.
Expenses are all the monies you spend for goods and services.
Don’t forget to include all the money you waste on useless things you don’t need. This is where you must begin your savings plan.
3. Do you have a Savings and Spending Plan?
What is a spending plan?
What is your Savings Plan?
What is a budget?
A monthly budget is a plan, to describe how you are going to use the money you earn to pay for the expenses you have to pay for in a monthly period.
Accountants and money managers, have long ago, developed systems for keeping track of income and expenses. There are only two ways of doing this. One way is to get yourself an old-fashioned pen and paper system, and the other is to use a digital computer based system.
My recommendation, if you are new to this, is to get an old-fashioned paper scribbler and pen. Begin by writing down all your sources of income in a given month, … and list all your expenses for that month.
This is the place to start. How much income are you earning, and what are your expenses? It’s just that simple.
4. What are “your Necessities” of life?
Food, Clothing, and Shelter! These are the very basics of survival. If you have children, or if you are living on one income, you must make allowances for that, but it does not prevent you from saving “something”.
Saving money is an exercise in discipline. If you cannot discipline yourself, and restrict yourself from spending money on frivolous and unnecessary purchases, you will never be able to save money for your future economic requirements.
Today’s Corona Virus Pandemic is bringing this to life. People are running around like chickens with their heads cut off, hoarding toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and rubber gloves.
Statistics show that very few people have a few hundred dollars of cash on hand, or even access to digital money, for any emergency. Think about that for a minute. Putting yourself, and your family in this position, is never a good idea. No one wants to listen to excuses all day. It’s your life, and you’re saving this money for YOU and Your Family.
I was never a Boy Scout, but I love their motto. Be Prepared!
5. Slash your Entertainment Budget
You don’t have to stay in your house, and shackle your leg to the kitchen table, although this has been proven to work on laboratory rats. Be creative and learn how to have fun “on-the-cheap”. Saving money is serious business.
Read books on “How to save money”. $50.00 movie nights can become stay at home movies. Walking and hiking your local parks are an excellent form of exercise and a great way to de-stress.
Can you do it? Can you really? How much money can you save in a year? I can hear the excuses already. I don’t make that much. I have 2 children. I only work part-time. I had to take my dog to the vet.
6. Learn to Cook
Eating out is a major expense for many couples. You can’t afford to eat out 5 or 6 days a week if you’re trying to save money. Learn how to shop for food. Plan your meals. Don’t buy too much unless you have a freezer. Don’t waste food.
There are hundreds of recipes and meal preparation ideas on the net, and on social media.
If you’re smart enough to put gas in your car, you are smart enough to cook something to put in your stomach. Make your stomach more important than your gas tank, problem solved!
Saving money requires you to make sacrifices. If you’re always running out of money before payday, you have to modify your spending habits.
Do you really need all that stuff that’s clogging your closets, your drawers, your shelves and your hallways.
See what I did here!
8. Avoid Debt as much as Possible
Debt is a chain that wraps around your neck.
Every day, the interest that accrues on the money you owe, makes that chain heavier and heavier.
There is a case to be made for Good Debt. If you know how to manage money to make more money, that’s Good.
If you run out to buy things you don’t need, as soon as your credit limit is increased that’s not good. That’s a formula for becoming a debt slave.
9. Start Building an Emergency Fund
Every payday, save 5% of your net income. 5% is not a lot, but it’s better than zero. This will accrue thousands of dollars over time. As you see the numbers grow, your confidence in saving money will grow as well. You’ll be super-proud of your accomplishments and so will your family and friends. They is a great conversation starter when you’re with your children, not to forget the education lesson included free of charge.
10. Get a Second Job
A Future Full of Hope
Many industries are going through hard times now, and the idea of working from home is more popular than ever. Look for businesses and industries that have a future.
The average person, working today, can expect to have about 8 to 14 different career changes in their lifetimes.
If you’re unemployed nowadays, it’s because you are in the wrong field, or you are not sufficiently educated in an employable capacity. Quit making excuses, and take charge of your life. Some career sectors are dying, or are on life support. This has been happening since the dawn of civilization.
The world is not coming to an end, it’s changing, and you have to change with it, or you’re going to get left behind!
If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions, I’d be more than happy to hear about them. You can Contact Me today and I’ll be happy to help you get started on your savings plan.