Working to achieve your own financial independence sometimes seems like an impossible goal. Saving money, especially when you are broke, seems an even more impossible goal. But to achieve the financial independence we all want, we must find ways of saving money.
One reason that those in their 20s and 30s have such a hard time saving money is that they often define who they are by material possessions. Things such as brand clothes and gadgets. These items have a higher cost and then it becomes a cycle of buying more and more. This is in direct conflict with a goal of saving money. While its not bad to have such items and the quality items do usually last longer, it is important to control ourselves to buy them when we can actually afford them.
Saving money is a long term commitment. Its also not something you choose to do just once. The choice must be made over and over. Each time you are tempted to eat outside. Each time you are tempted with that new gadget or outfit. Achieving financial Independence is a lot of small choices made over a period of time. That is the real secret to getting rich, making the right choice as many times as possible over a period of time.
8 Ways of saving money that anyone can do
1. Do you really need “it” now?
This is, perhaps, the most important thing anyone can do. My mother used to say, its about controlling your “wanter”. That little voice that pushes you to buy things you don’t really need. You will likely feel worse after having it when you realize just how much you spent. A little trick you can use is to hold off for 14 days for major purchases. If you still feel you need and can afford it, go for it. But usually after that amount of time, the novelty has worn off and you have saved yourself from an unnecessary purchase.
Nowhere is this better seen than at the grocery store checkout lane. Why do they put so much candy, batteries and other items within easy reach? Because they know its very likely many people will be tempted to add it to their cart.
2. Eat at home, don’t eat out
Eating outside is a big expense. But the real secret is we don’t do it just once per month. We often forget just how many times we do it. How many Starbucks did you get last month at 150 pesos each? How many times did you go to Jollibee and eat Chickenjoy? That is all a lot of money that you could have added to your savings account. Also consider taking your meals to work with you as well. It will save you from having to buy food there. You don’t have to do it everyday, but even a couple of days per week would make a big difference over time.
3. Avoid unnecessary fees
ATM fees, late payment fees for loans and other bills. This is all free money you are giving away. Try to plan your bank withdrawals ahead so you can avoid using ATM machines. Also don’t make your payments to loans and bills late. The late fees are money you are just giving away to the company. Also there is the long term damage it will do to your credit that will cost you much more in the future. Making payments on time is not only the right thing to do, it’s the financially sensible thing to do.
4. Make a real commitment to saving
This is a mental shift. You have to make saving money something that is actually important to you. Until that happens, you are likely to always have “expenses” or things you “need” that always prevent you from actually saving any money. You can’t be rich and achieve financial Independence unless you have money with which to invest and create new income for yourself. So it has to be you who makes the decision to actually save money.
5. Shop around and price compare – look for bargains
Don’t always pay the first price you see. Shop around and do some price checking. Can you find it cheaper online? Can you find a second hand version and really save a lot of money? This simple habit can really help you to save a lot of money.
6. Pay down debt as soon as possible
The longer you let debt sit out there, the longer it will earn interest. That is more free money you are just giving away. Try to pay a little extra each month on any debt you have. This will help you to pay it down sooner and that will save you money in the long term.
7. Take a look at your internet, mobile or other plans
This is often a place where we can save money. Do you really need the plans that you are on? Can you not work with a smaller plan? Especially with internet access. Find some ways to make some cuts here and you can save more each month.
8. Is there a cheaper way for you to go and come from work?
Do you take taxis more often than you should? Instead of using tricycles, can you walk? Can you walk a bit further each day? Not only is it great exercise, it’s a good that you can be saving money. Take a look at the way you go to work and see if you can make some cuts here.
Following these simple steps, whole individually might not be a lot, over time they will all add up to substantial savings. And that is how its done, cut a few corners here, save a little there, and then over time, you will be amazed at what you have accomplished.