Saving money, whether for emergencies, retirement or mortgage down payment is central to financial freedom which in itself is the cornerstone to happiness. Saving is easier said than done, however, and a lot of people who set out on this path fall by the way side. As 2015 hits full gear, the following steps can help carry you through your savings plan for the year.
Decide exactly what you are saving for and how much you need. Then set a realistic timeline for achieving that dream. Setting goals is a great way to motivate yourself. As you near the achievement of your savings goal, you get a morale boost which makes it easier to make your monthly saving commitments.
Come up with a budget and avoid impulse buying
A well planned budget is an absolute necessity in any saving plan. A budget will help you keep track of your spending ensuring that you have something left at the end of the month to save. You need to make an estimate of how much money you need to cater for all your needs through the month. Establish a spending limit for each of your major expenses and ensure you don’t exceed it. Impulse buying is a nemesis to your saving plan which you should avoid at all cost.
Pay yourself first
Many successful people cite this as an important strategy in saving. When you receive your paycheck, first set aside the money you are going to save. Instead of viewing your money as a way to pay your bills, you should view it as a way to realize your dreams, which you facilitate by saving. This way, you teach your unconscious mind to be more positive towards saving, making it easier and even fun over time. You can do this by arranging with your employer to have a portion of your pay deposited into your savings account or retirement account.
Buy second hand
New and expensive does not always guarantee quality. Second-hand items are almost always cheaper than new stuff and when selected well they can last for years. The extra dollar can go to your savings account. Sites such as eBay and Amazon have great deals on secondhand stuff. A lot of used stuff such as furniture can easily and cheaply be restored to look as good as new, giving you substantial savings.
Cut back on unnecessary spending
It is okay to spoil yourself once in a while. But unless you are on Bill Gate’s salary, there is no reason you need to sip a 20 dollar cappuccino at Starbucks every day. Luxury spending should be well planned and preferably set aside to celebrate milestones or achievements.
Make use of coupons and promo codes
Take advantage of coupons as they can give you large discounts that will save you significant amounts of money. When shopping online, coupon codes perform the same duty and they are widely available on the Internet or websites such as Discountrue, so look around before you make a purchase. With time even the small discounts can accrue to large amounts of money that can go a long way in boosting your savings.
Try a bit of DIY