Telling yourself that you can’t afford to start saving is usually not true. In fact, it’s impossible for you to wait until you “have more money” in order to start saving, since you will have to first start saving in order to have more money. However, maybe you think you can’t save because you don’t know how to, and not simply because you can’t.
Whatever the case may be, it can be resolved, especially since the process of saving is pretty simple (though not always easy). The good news, though, is that you can use any or all of the simple saving hacks in this post to help yourself develop the discipline you will need to get started and keep going.You can't wait until you have money to start saving. You start saving to have money. Click To Tweet
1. Track Your Expenditures
If you feel like your money is disappearing into thin air and you’re not quite sure how, it means that you have a cashflow problem. Luckily, this can be easily fixed by first learning to track your expenditures. Expenditure tracking is important because in order for you to direct your money towards your most important goals, you have to first know where it is currently going. The good news is that tracking your expenditures is as simple as manually or electronically recording your expenditure on a daily basis and then tallying the individual amounts to get an overall monthly total. Use this system for more guidance.
2. Automate Your Savings
Automating your savings is effective simply because you won’t spend what you can’t see. Have your bank deduct a specific amount of money from your account each month and transfer it to your savings or investment account. If this seems difficult to you, start automating small sums first and then gradually increase it when you realize that you’re starting to miss the deducted money less and less. However, always ensure that your automated savings are transferred to an account that you don’t have easy access to, and especially one that cannot be accessed with a debit card.
3. Educate Yourself
Saving is a good first step on your journey towards financial security, but it isn’t the only step. You should always seek to become financially literate and learn more about how money works. Get into the habit of read financial articles and blogs (like this one) as often as you can, and if you’re into books, be sure to read The Richest Man in Babylonand Rich Dad Poor Dad. Understanding “financial language” can be difficult, but that alone isn’t a valid reason for you to keep yourself ignorant. Make a dedicated effort to invest in your financial education and you will realize that the more of the information you consume, the easier it will eventually become to understand.
4. Say NO.
It isn’t realistic for you to become everyone else’s financial superhero but your own. It is important that you learn to say “NO!” to others, and yourself, when necessary. Furthermore, not only will not saying no become expensive, it might also create a cycle of dependency. If a close friend or relative asks you for a loan, can you afford to never get that money back? If you can’t afford to never get the money back, it means that you can’t afford to lend it.
In that same breath, when making purchases outside of your basic needs, ask yourself if you can truly afford the item. If making the purchase means sacrificing a major goal or your peace of mind, you can’t afford it. Full stop! Always evaluate the potential causes and effects of your actions before making decisions where your finances are concerned.
5. Start Collecting Coins
At the end of each day, you may end up with some loose change in your purse, wallet or pockets which eventually gets thrown down somewhere. Let’s fix that! Make your spare change productive by making daily coin deposits into a coin catchment system. You’re hardly going to miss the money anyways by doing this. Do this consistently for at least 3 months and you are going to be surprised at how much it all adds up. Make sure you store your coin catchment system somewhere that will not be tempting to you to break into it and end up with a petty theft charge courtesy of yourself.
When you see how fruitful your discipline and efforts have been, you can then use the money that you have accumulated to…
6. Treat Yourself!
Here’s a bonus: Rewarding yourself for achieving a goal will awaken a sense of fulfillment and motivate you to maintain your money momentum! In order carefully reward yourself and avoid undoing all your hard work, ensure that you set a goal and then attach a fair reward to it. For example, you could choose to treat yourself to dinner when your emergency/retirement fund hits $50,000. However, remember that all spending must still be done in moderation.
Here’s a final thought:
Waiting until you have money to start saving is like waiting to get into an accident before insuring your vehicle. Is that a chance you’re willing to take?