8 tips on how to save money no matter your income
I used to be an over-spender. I always spent more money than I made, and I was slowly burying myself in debt. Until there came a moment when I just couldn’t continue living like that. I had to learn how to be smart with money. I started educating myself on the topic of finances and slowly went from spending 150% of my income to saving about 40% of it.
Without further ado, here are the 8 tips on how you can achieve the same:
1) Check your mindset, girl
Yes, again, I am starting with mindset! If you don’t believe you can actually save anything- you won’t. Go check out our previous post covering this issue in little more depth
2) Know where your money is going
There are so many people who complain about having money problems or not knowing why they can’t ever save anything. And yet, they don’t track their finances. The excuses are always the same- “It takes too much time”, “I keep forgetting” or “It’s useless; I know what I buy and I don’t need to write it down.”
At least, those were my excuses for a long time. The truth is, you don’t know where your money is going. You might have a number in your head, but it is probably way off. It took me only about three days of tracking my finances when I realized: “Am I seriously spending so much money on take-aways and coffee?!” I haven’t stopped tracking since. Yes, you want to turn this into your habit. I promise you, it’s a fruitful one.
Because only by looking at the actual numbers will you be able to identify the problem.
The means are completely up to you -- you can create a spreadsheet, keep a small notebook or download an app. I find the latter easiest to use because I always have my phone on me and there are plenty of great apps made for the purpose of tracking your finances. If you don’t want to invest in an app, no problem. Most of them have a free version to use.
If you want a tip on which app to use or if you’d like to recommend one yourself, do not hesitate to write in the comments.
3) Put your money aside right after receiving your paycheck
This “hack” proved to be very effective. Once I receive my paycheck, I immediately put a certain amount into my savings accounts.
Why? If you leave all your money in your checking account and promise yourself that at the end of the month, you’ll find 5.000 CZK there, I’ve got bad news for you. That’s not likely to happen. Just like a task usually tends to take as much time as we give to it the same goes with your money -- We tend to spend everything in our checking accounts.
Now, where you put your savings doesn’t necessarily need to be your saving account. It can be any other interest-earning account. We will cover those in future posts.
How do you know how much money you should put aside?
4) Create a budget
I know, I know -- you’ve heard this so many times. But by creating a budget you are likely to hit your financial goals.
At the end of each month, or on pay day (if you get paid each month the same day), plan how much money you need to spend on food, accommodation, transport etc. etc. and how much money you are going to put aside.
5) Name your savings account
This might seem silly, but it’s proven that if you name your savings account you are less likely to unnecessarily withdraw money from it. Whatever your dream or goal is, name your savings account accordingly.
Let me explain.
If I am saving for a six-month trip to Southeast Asia, I am going to name my savings bank account “Trip to Asia <3”. So, if I feel the urge to buy new shoes and I’m thinking of withdrawing money from that savings account, I know I’m taking money away from my dream and I am likely to keep the money there.
As important as the other points are, I am not sure if I’d be able to save as much money as I am saving right now if I didn’t become familiar with the philosophy of minimalism and didn’t start implementing it.
I am not going go deeply into the philosophy of minimalism but what I find beautiful about it is that everyone can implement it their own way. You don’t need to get rid of all your stuff and live with one pair of jeans and two black t-shirts.
Minimalism helped me identify what is essential and important in my life. It also helped me realize that I was giving too much importance to my stuff. Thanks to minimalism I was able to clean out not only my house but also my head from stuff and junk I didn’t need. And that is helping me save lots of money.
We could dedicate a future post to minimalism. Let us know in the comments below.
7) See if you can cut the big expenses
Maybe you live in a central area and your rent is x times higher than if you lived only 15 or 20 minutes further. Or maybe you can get a roommate or rent your place on Airbnb. Evaluate the options you have.
8) Choosing cheaper alternatives
Saving money can sometimes come down to our lifestyle choices. Instead of eating out, try cooking and making your coffee at home. Instead of buying books get a library card. The cost of a yearly membership in the Prague library is about 60 CZK. And yes, they offer tons of books in English. If most of your money gets eaten by your car, try considering using public transport, walking, or biking to places. Instead of leaving thousands of crowns in shopping malls, shop second-hand.
Now we want to hear from you, our readers. What helped you save money? What things are you saving for? What methods are you using?
Again, thanks for reading and have a lovely day.