Knowing where to begin can be overwhelming. Here we show you how to start saving money and ‘get on with it’.
People often ask me, ‘where do I begin?’ when it comes to starting to save money. This is because money is quite an emotive topic; often if we find ourselves wanting to save money, it is because we have something we need, want or wish to fix.
It’s like someone who wants to lose weight. They don’t want to lose weight because they are already healthy and skinny, they want to lose weight because they are not. Much is the same with money; when it comes to saving, you likely need to repay a debt, go on a holiday, buy something, pay for something or simply create a buffer in your finances to sleep a little better at night.
Because the topic itself is often so emotive, people turn to methods to save money quickly. Not bad, but not something that will provide long-lasting results. Much like the weight loss analogy again, you may get quick results but you will just as quickly put the weight back on if you don’t fix the root cause.
This is why people so often struggle to begin saving and when they do decide they need to; often don’t know where they should start.
What you will learn in this guide
Here you will learn the best way to start saving money and simply get on with it. It’s easy to be a dud money saver, but if you want to become a savings superstar – you need to read on, start saving and GET ON WITH IT.
Start saving today, not tomorrow or miss out
You need to stop feeling sorry for yourself and your money. It’s time to simply begin saving and stop making excuses and poor life choices.
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.
This means reconsidering your spending, opening up an account to hide money away into, evaluating what is important to you in life and taking the necessary steps to get there. You’ve had your fun, your nights out, your credit card debts – it’s now time to get serious. Stop paying for stupid 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 savings account that is full to the brim should anything unexpected occur.
Every day that passes and you do not have a savings plan, puts you one day behind the bell curve of you versus life. 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.
You only have a limited time to earn money, why are you wasting it then?
The dollar you earn today, will not be earnt ever again.
If you take a step backwards for a second, imagine you are hovering above yourself at 20,000 feet looking down. You are just one person, with one life, with one shot at doing things right.
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 the working years.
So say we start work at 18 years of age. On average, most of us will work until we are 60 or slightly more. That is 42 working years we have to do this thing called ‘saving’. What if you got to 60 and didn’t have anything to show for it?
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 aim to never do that.
Become pro-active, think a few steps ahead about your money
Think about where your savings and goals will be in the future.
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 the credit card or the savings account.
To start saving money, you really need to think a few steps ahead and plan where your money goes, what it will go towards and pre-empt situations that will test your ability to not spend.
Ways to become proactive about your money include;
- Saving for yearly expenses (like car costs, insurance policies and more)
- Creating an effective budget that lists ALL of your expenses
- Knowing 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 where you could better spend the time elsewhere to earn money
- Try to fix things before they become a problem, problems need solutions, solutions cost money.
- Develop a new mindset; solve problems, don’t dwell on them
- Focus on small things you can achieve today; the bigger stuff will follow
- Look for the best possible ways to automate your money; auto savings, auto debt repayments, regular investments and more.
Find ways to spend less, save more.
The cornerstone to saving money is finding ways to spend less.
Try to become more minimalist in your approach to buying things. Like most people, you probably love to spend. Why not find a new passion; saving. The feeling of not spending money, growing your savings pool and seeing money left over each month is pretty satisfying.
If you are trying to begin your money saving journey, it all starts here. The less you spend, the more savings you have. It’s the easiest financial mathematics on the planet. By simply being smart with the money that you do have, you can find ways to make that money stretch further and in turn not get frivolously wasted on unnecessary things.
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.
There are many ways to stop spending money – find some low hanging fruit and look to cut them from your budget. I won’t list all the ideas for things you can cut, but keep an eye on your spending for a few weeks and you will quickly see the items costing you money.
Get motivated, stay motivated, succeed
Motivation is what drives results. If you want to save money, you need to be driven.
Another key aspect of beginning to save money is getting the drive and motivation to keep going. All too often people find themselves ready to rock and roll, save some cash and kill their credit card; except after 2 weeks they have given up because they haven’t seen enough progress.
For me, I found the motivation to save by taking small but incremental steps to improve my finances. Can’t save $500 a month? Save $50 and promise yourself to never withdraw it. These baby steps work in just about every scenario and before you know it – you will find yourself sitting on a solid amount of savings and will have made good progress.
You need a reason to begin saving money – what is it?
As mentioned at the start of this article; there is always a reason we want to save money. What is yours? If you dare, you should write it in the comments below and state publicly why it is you need to begin saving.
For me, it was because I remember a two week period I had where I was so broke, I had to pay for the bus in five cent pieces to get to work, walk home (because I had run out of money) and scavenge and sell items for every last dollar I could conjure up in order to make sure my family didn’t go without the things they needed.
When you get to that cutthroat moment of fear, you never want to be short of money again. This is what drove me to start saving money and I have never looked back.