1. Realise you have a problem
The first step to solve any issue is to be self-aware. It?s easy to be in denial, so if you?re conscious of your habits then you already won half of the battle. When you?re aware of the negative spending habits, you start second guessing every cash exchange, swipe and proceed to checkout click. Even if you continue to spend carelessly, the ?should I do this? thought will linger in the back of your mind.
2. Open a savings account
When preserving money, you need a savings account. It?s safer than holding cash in your house and it?s easier to manage. Pick a bank of your choice and sit down with a bank representative. They will discuss everything with you and set up your new account.
3. Set up a mint.com account
This is a free, personal finance website that can guide you through into saving money. It breaks your monthly budget down to a science. It combines all your bank accounts and tracks how much you spend where you spend it.
4. Separate your wants from your needs
It?s obvious that you can?t avoid spending money on certain things: bills, children and food is a must. But other things you can live without, you don?t need to upgrade your phone when it is due ? you want to. You don?t need to buy that extra Big Mac ? you want extra food. You don?t need the premium cable package on your TV ? you want it.
5. Create a new zero
After you budget your monthly expenses and cut back from all the things you don?t need, set a new benchmark in your savings that you cannot go below. Do everything in your power not to have your account fall below your desired amount.
- Pay yourself before you pay Uncle Sam
When people first get their pay at the end of the month, they are quick to throw their money at the companies they owe money to. Hold on for a second, take a step back and relax. Ease off the pressure. The first thing you do when you get your money is put a certain amount that you?re comfortable with into your savings. Realistically, what?s the worst that could happen if you are a few days later paying a bill? Credit yourself first.
7. Develop will-power
You will see adverts, you will see other people with nice things, and friends will tempt you to go out for dinner. There is much power in saying the word no. Stay strong and keep reminding yourself that you?re trying to value your money and not let it go to waste.
- Set goals
Much like step 5, have a benchmark. This is important ? it gives you a standard. Take a pen and paper and write them down. You will only go out to eat once a month ? goal. You will make sure to cut off the lights every night to save electricity ? goal. You will walk to certain places instead of driving to save petrol ? goal.
- Don?t be afraid of vouchers
When shopping, plan before you buy. Food shopping, book shopping etc. When you?re in need of an item, take your time before purchasing. Go to the best place so you can get the best deals. Don?t be afraid to be called cheap, your saving money. Groupon is an excellent website to look for coupons and vouchers.
10. Treat yourself
After you have trained yourself in this new saving habit, there is nothing wrong with spending a little bit of money on yourself. You worked hard for this payslip ? you deserve it. Remember, be responsible and don?t forget your priorities.