How To Start Saving – The Best Advice To Get Started
It’s safe to say that starting is the hardest part of saving for anything. Saving is something that appears to be easy when you look at the bigger picture, but it can actually be a pretty difficult task. Of course, it also becomes even more challenging when you don’t have that great of an income to work with. However, it is nonetheless possible. Saving money for the future is something that you most certainly have heard by now but haven’t necessarily begun doing so. There are many things to save for – retirement, a home, a car, an emergency, or your child’s education are just some examples. These expenses are real, and they are expected to grow worse as you progress through life, so waiting for a later time in your life to start the habit of saving is not a good idea.
The first thing you need to do when you are trying to figure out your budget is to track expenses and income. Without an accurate perspective of what your finances look like, there is no way you can begin making any choices with your money. Spend one month tracking your every expense, whether it is on a spreadsheet, a notebook, or a mobile app. At the end of that month, measuring your finances is the first step you have to take before you can improve on it.
Watch Your Spend
The most money seems to be spent on three things – house, car, and entertainment. These three areas are the main areas to focus on if you want to trim your expenses, and it is worth noting that the more stuff you own, the more your stuff will own you. This is actually very true and the sense of release when you get rid of unnecessary things is immense. Live a minimalist life where you invest in what you need and no more. Not needing something is a far greater feeling than buying something you don’t need. Keep entertainment expenses modest and find other ways to spend time with the family that doesn’t involve so much of a cost. Think of pot lucks and family picnics or spending the day at the park with your pets rather than out for the movies.
Live On One Income
If or when you marry, it is likely that in the beginning, both partners may be working and bring bread to the table. However, two incomes do not mean that you need to spend them both! One of the best things you can do as a newly married couple of two working spouses is to put away one salary and live off the other. The savings will amaze you and will offer you the flexibility you never considered before. For example, if the wife’s salary is being put aside in savings every month, then when children enter the picture, she has the option of being a stay-at-home mom since there is nothing relying on her income. The savings also come in handy as a down payment when purchasing a house.
Buy Your Car Cash – No Monthly Payments
If you want a car, pay using cash. This is a great piece of advice because paying for a mortgage and a car can leave you with very little money left to spend on anything else. When you have your first car, begin paying a monthly payment into savings towards the purchase of your next car – because we all know that it isn’t realistic to expect a person to lie all their life with just one vehicle! Life happens, and if you have the money saved up for a car when it does, you are in the clear!
Have an Allowance
Every month, when you are done making the payments you are responsible for, take a percentage of the money that is left and use it as an allowance. Or better yet, have a specific amount that you use every week to spend. This will help you control your spending and not have you finishing all your extra money in the first week, leaving you dry until your next payday. Having a regular allowance also keeps you satisfied that you are spoiling yourself a little bit, and you don’t feel the need to overcompensate for struct budgeting by splurging on steep spoils. The philosophy is simple, but it works!
Money isn’t everything, but at the end of the day, we all need a fair share of it to survive and to enjoy the lifestyles we wish to enjoy. Follow the tips provided and you should definitely be able to make improvements to your finances!
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