There seems to be a common misconception that if you want to save you need to get rid of everything fun in your life. However, that is not true! Let me teach you how to save without giving up your life.
No takeaway coffees, no trips, no brunch out with friends, no shopping – it all sounds pretty sad. And frankly, is it even worth saving money if you forget to enjoy life? I don’t think so.
I’m a woman who supports herself on an average income while saving and investing a large percentage. However, I still spend way too much on beauty products and food because it makes me happy. Here’s how I do it.
Figure out how much money you need to save
$100? $1,000? $10,000? $100,000? Write down how much you want to save and start a separate savings account. If you save money aimlessly without a specific figure, it can be very hard to stay motivated.
I’d advise to create a goal that is just slightly unachievable. If you know realistically you can save $10,000, have a goal for $12,000. This will keep you challenged. If your goal is too low, you won’t be able to save as much as you can. If it’s too high, you’ll feel demotivated and give up.
I’m sorry but yes, you need to budget
Before you exit this article – just hear me out! Yes, you can save money and do well financially without budgeting. However, this is only really possible if you earn a high income or have low expenses. Budgeting will allow you to prioritise what is important and remove expenses that are not.
By looking at all your expenses, you can stop spending money on things you don’t care about and put it towards things you love.
As previously mentioned, I love food. I would die for food. I love buying fancy groceries, eating out, cooking, baking – you get the point. So, I will always allocate a large chunk of money towards this. It makes me happy. However, I personally don’t really care about buying new things. It doesn’t give me that much joy. So, I’ll buy furniture, clothes, shoes and books second hand and reducing therefore reducing these expenses in my budget. It’s all about creating a balance between things you need, love and things you are fine without.
Okay, but how do I budget?
There is no right or wrong way to budget. You can grab a pen and paper and write down your income and expenses each week. I personally like using a manual excel spreadsheet. There’s even apps you can link to your bank account which automatically budget for you.
To budget, you essentially need to keep a log of how much money you are making and how much you are spending.
Slow and steady wins the race
I’m all about slow yet sustainable results.
Yes, if you were extremely frugal you could reach your savings goals much faster. However, you only get one life and I believe that it isn’t worth being depressed just to save money faster. Instead, save slowly. Give yourself plenty of time to slowly build up your savings.
The most important aspect to make sure this will be successful is that you have to be consistent and can’t give up.
Even if you’re saving $10 a month, save that money every time and do not skip a month. Do not withdraw it out of your savings unless it is an emergency. However, it might be a better idea to build an emergency fund, you can read my article on it here:
If you keep spending your savings, hide them!
Are you the type of person that can’t resist money just sitting there? I used to be guilty of this. If I could see my savings every time I checked my regular bank account, I had the urge to go shopping.
That’s when I opened a savings account with a different bank so I couldn’t see my money.
Hiding your money from yourself can keep it out of sight, out of mind and you will be less tempted to spend it.
And, that’s it! If you implement these tips into your life, you’ll be shocked at what you are able to achieve. Just remember that the first $10,000 you save will be he hardest but every $10,000 after that will get easier and easier. Just keep going!