Most people think they need to be frugal when they save money. This idea, however, is not completely true. Yes, you need to save. But to save, you need to be able to know how to discipline yourself in the first place.
Resist the Impulse
Impulse buys are a minefield. This is often one of the biggest wallet-drainers out there. You see items on discount and your brain automatically thinks, ‘yes! Discounts!’ This, without any thought to the practicalities like: can you afford to buy it? Do you need it? Often, the answer to that is no.
You are not alone. Many people don’t know how to hold back that impulse and irresistible compulsion to shop. This is why most people fail to save money.
There are also instances where you try to justify the purchase of an item that you know isn’t a need but a want but you really, really want it so you tell yourself you need it. Are you having that bad of a day at work to consider blowing a month’s-worth of salary on shoes and clothes? Do you have that much leeway in your finances to allow you to splurge? Or would you suffer the consequences later on, paying for high credit card charges and interest rates?
Tips on How to Budget
According to a well-known financial author, Robert Kiyosaki, you should learn how to solve your financial problems. One way to begin is to know how to budget your money. Here are the reasons why that is ideal:
- Setting a budget will help you reach financial freedom.
- Budgeting helps you determine your overall income
- It helps you identify your spending patterns.
Making a budget plan involves tracking your cashflow, categorizing your expenses, and then comparing the expenditures with your total pay. You may create your personalized budget plan or follow the 50-30-20 rule. This technique involves sorting out a percentage of money that needs to be allotted for everything. 50 percent will go to your necessities—bills, food and rent—and 30 percent for the debt repayments and luxury, while 20 percent goes to your savings.
You can also use coupons or vouchers to help you save. There are websites like Save Money and Groupon that offer an array of shopping and travel deals with discounted prices of up to 70%. You may also use discount and prepaid cards like Petronas’ Smart Pay to control what you’re spending. This is a prepaid gas card that offers prepaid system for gas.
Track What You’re Spending
When you track your spending, you know how much you earn, spend, and save—right down to a single cent. Some tips you can do when tracking your finances includes:
- Don’t forget to do a grocery list.
- Planning a weekly menu helps. If you know what meals you’ll most likely be preparing, you’ll know what ingredients to pick up at the grocery. You don’t have to make several trips just to get milk or eggs or honey.
- It is better to shop for groceries when you’re in a hurry. This way, you don’t spend time browsing the shelves leisurely and putting items in your cart that you don’t need.
Spend less, Save More
Doing all these isn’t a fool-proof way for you to hit your savings target this year or next year however—not unless you earn so much that you could save for only a year and earn big, or you have a pretty small savings target in the first place.
But getting into the habit of doing these things allows you to generally make saving a part of your life. That builds discipline and will and exactly what you’ll need if you want to save big in the future—that might not be this year or next year but it could be the year after that or the one two years from now. If you know how to save, and train yourself to save more, you’ll definitely hit your savings target. It’s just going to be a matter of when.