Saving money is a great habit to make, whether you want to minimise the things in your life, pay off the bills, save towards a goal, travel the world or invest for the future. Money does provide a sense of financial security that gives us the daily necessities and long term necessities we need. The importance of saving definitely becomes more and more apparent after leaving home! I think it may be one of the sort of things that makes us realise how much our parents sacrifice for us. One of the realisations I had when I left home, was how much of the things I spent – I didn’t need. The things I needed, I already had. It was something to be so grateful for, yet it’s so easy to forget in a world that is surrounded by materials. As a fashion lover, I would go clothes shopping every week convincing myself that I would wear it for certain occasions or it would be regularly worn – but, oh how wrong I was! The truth is almost the majority of those clothes ended up being recycled or donated away. Looking through my wardrobe I singled out all the pieces that were good investments. They were worn every year and were in good condition. It’s easy to have a quick spend and feel instant satisfaction, but in long term all the $5, $20, $50 spends adds up to a lot.
Identify what you spend on the most weekly. This could be eating out, watching movies or going shopping. As a predominantly black and white wearer, the clothes I know I am more likely to keep are nude or monochromatic colours.For this reason, I hardly buy clothes unless I know it’s long term. If you spend a lot on eating out, try minimising it by cooking five times a week or if it’s that extra cup of coffee, try making your own coffee at home.
List the things you need and want. Often we can blur the lines between what we want and what we truly need. I find listing out what I want, need and already have helps to give perspective on what is really worth spending my money on. Do I really need that extra pair of shoes to match with my clothes when I already have a black pair?
Set goals and make long term saving plans. Write down the goals that you are saving for short term and long term, then list strategies on how you will do it. It could be: save up for new running shoes by walking to work instead of busing. Or, it may be, save up for a house by minimising extra spendings on materials. Only spend on food and the necessities but allow an extra spending of $50, $100, $150 per month.
Checking prices and comparing before purchasing. This is great for online shopping and also looking online before heading out to the store. There are often stores that have discounts and a product may be significantly cheaper compared to another. Not to mention, you may find something that is better than what you were searching for.
Remember to still reward yourself. One of the best feelings is saving enough money to buy something you do really want. You took the time to work hard for the money and maybe it’s a new series of books, going to the movies or going out for a dinner with friends. Don’t forget to reward yourself weekly and monthly no matter how small it is.
Self motivate yourself. I find really putting long term goals into my mind and visualising them happening, motivates me to save as much as I can. If you’re saving for a plane ticket for a holiday and limit spending on certain things, it can be so rewarding when you go on your trip. Self control is definitely one that involves a lot of self talk (Do I really need this, What about the … I’m saving for?). Remember that most of the things we want, we already have.
The art is not in making money, but in keeping it. -Proverb