The following post is by MSG staff writer, Shondell of Call Me What You Want, Even Cheap. She blogs about her recent car loan and mortgage pay off of over $95k and a whole bunch more. Check out her blog right here.
When bills, debts, and other expenses eat up all of your funds on payday, it seems impossible to consider saving. Yet, savings are necessary to protect you on rainy days, keep you warm when you retire or fuel your goals. How do you make it happen? How do you save money when there’s nothing left after payday?
Make Savings A Priority
You are currently considering saving as an option and not as an obligation. You save WHEN and IF there is something left. That is not the way to do it. Allocate a fixed amount for savings every month and “treat” it just like any another mandatory payment. Transfer the money you’ve allocated to your savings account on payday, just like you do with other bills. Pay yourself first and not last, out of the leftovers. Getting into the habit of saving is not easy but you have more chances to succeed if you consider saving first and not last. To make sure you do that, you can make saving an automatic deduction from your paycheck. That way you will have less of an excuse not to save.
Get Rid of Your Debts
If you drag and span your debts over years and years, you will never be able to save money. Simply, eradicate debts and pay them as quickly as you can. They are a top priority that will help you regain your financial independence. Put them on top of the list and never miss a payment. Forget all excuses and just make the payments. Debts are holding you back. Do not let them take over your life; deal with them smartly and pay them off as soon as possible.
Get Rid Of “Costly” Habits
Habit is the worse vice. Sometimes, you get so used to certain habits that you fail to see how “burdening” they’ve become on your budget. Some expensive habits may include:
- Taking a cab regularly,
- Having dinner at the restaurant twice a week,
- Getting expensive coffee everyday,
- Buying your lunch instead of bringing it
You may not realize it, but they weigh down on your expenses a great deal. You need to prioritize your costs and eliminating bad habits is one of the most effective ways you can do it. Every indulgence is an extra cost that can turn into a saving amount if you are committed and constant in your decision.
Analyze Your Budget
This is the part that nobody enjoys: taking a good look at your budget. The truth is that you may not like what you will see but you definitely need to see it. Thus, you will understand that there are very few things except bills and debts that you truly need. Ask yourself the question: do I really need this? Be honest about the answer and you will see just how much you can trim off on your budget list.
What are some tips you use to save?
[Editor's Note: there are two routes you can go in regards to creating a budget. The "old-school" way is to use a free excel spreadsheet template and manually budget. The other option is to use Power Wallet. You create a free account on Power Wallet and link your bank accounts and go from there. It's so easy to use, you have no excuse for not having a budget.]