So you want to save more money. Good! No man is truly free if he doesn’t have financial freedom. Learning how to save money is one of the best things you can do this year to improve your life. Even if you hate math and don’t know a thing about the stock market, today’s post will have you saving a lot more money with a few simple steps.
- Prioritize your Savings – You probably are saving whatever you have left at the end of a paycheck, and that is a problem. You are subconsciously telling yourself that on the totem pole of priorities, savings lies dead last. Flip it around, and set aside savings on the day you get paid. Remember, savings are essentially the money you pay yourself, so damn, make yourself a priority!
- Protect your Savings – You need to open a separate bank account to put your savings in. Otherwise, it is too easy to wind up spending that money in moments of need or low willpower. Make it as difficult as possible to access the money and you’ll be more likely to keep your savings safe and growing.
- Find Additional Savings – Write down everything you spend for one month. It is a sobering exercise. I try this one month per year, and while it is a bit annoying to maintain for a month, it is very revealing. For example, the first time I ran the experiment, I found that I spent more on drinks and dinner with friends each month than I did on groceries and gym membership. I claimed my priorities were learning how to prepare healthy, homemade meals and getting into great shape, but my spending habits told a different story. I immediately decided to spend 50% less on going out and that freed up money for savings.
- Reward Yourself – Set goals and celebrate when you reach milestones. Don’t guilt yourself into saving more; make it an exciting challenge and savor the victories each month. Print out a chart color it in as your savings grow.
- Get a Partner – Tell one of your frugal friends that you are going to start saving more and share ideas with each other. Peer pressure can be a powerful motivator that keeps you on target even while your willpower temporarily sags.
- Get Smart about Saving – I absolutely love Dave Ramsey’s book The Total Money Makeover. If one of your goals this year is to become financially fit (and it should be one of your goals) then you can do no better than to start with this New York Times bestselling book on financial fitness. His advice helped me pay off my graduate school loans and get onto solid financial footing and can do the same for you.
To your daily growth!