My Mum used to continually drum into me the importance of saving money from a very young age, but I didn’t really do much about it until I was older. I was a spender for many years and the future was always so far away that it just didn’t really matter what I was spending today…
But time creeps up on all of us. The sooner you get into really good habits with your saving and spending, the more secure you will be in the world we see today.
Things like social security and Medicare from the state will not be around forever. And if you lose your job suddenly, the bills will soon add up and it can reduce a great deal of pressure if you have some cash to fall back on in times of emergency.
So read on for a few of my tips that can develop into really healthy financial habits over time:
Automate it on pay day – Set up automated transfers from your everyday bank account that receives your salary into a savings account for a set amount. It doesn’t have to be large amounts, but automate it and you won’t forget to do it and the balance will build nicely.
Give it a month (or more) – If you’re an impulse buyer, this one is for you! Try waiting on a purchase for a month and see if you still need that pair of sneakers or iPhone case that caught your eye on the way to the office – the chances are that you won’t.
Cut back on the coffees – One cup a day at between $3.50 and $5 each (depending on where you live) is getting close to $2000 a year. Many people don’t stop at one, either, so the numbers just keep increasing, and then add in the add muffin now and again and you are looking at a lot of cash!
Are you still smoking? – Not only is it really bad for your health but it’s even worse for your bank balance. If you can kick the habit and start to invest the money you are saving, this will make you healthy and rich at the same time.
Track your spending – Something like Google Sheets or Excel can help you to see where the cracks are in your financial armour. Paying attention to your spending can seem really dull but the additional information will always lead to you making better long term decisions with your money.
Try to avoid tapping for everything – How easy is it for you to tap all day long? The ease and simplicity of this process is a double-edged sword, though, as you can very easily forget what you have spent and where, and the bills begin to creep up on you quickly. Try to carry a small amount of cash and use this for small transactions as it always focuses your mind when the notes in your purse or wallet start to disappear!
When a bill ends, keep paying – Say you have a car loan of $450/month over three years. At the end of three years you have that happy day when you know the debt is repaid, but why don’t you keep paying the amount of $450/month to yourself instead? Use a savings account and create an automated bank transfer for the amount, or even a part of it, and then watch it grow…
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