Lawrence Vaughn, Staff Writer
One of the most common New Year’s resolutions is finances, and more specifically how to better save your finances and spend them in better ways instead of just splurging at a moment’s notice when you find a few more dollars than you had in the bottom of your couch, an old book bag or even when an unexpected direct deposit hits.
These next few tips will be able to stand as a very solid foundation for building great spending habits and how to save in a more effective way that will last longer than just the first couple of months of the new year. That way, when it comes to having a great spring break, an amazing fourth of July, or any other spontaneous trip you’ll be able to think of, you’ll not only go on the trip but also not have to worry, if you’ll be spending your last while on the trip.
1.) Make Your Biggest Purchases When You Get Paid. Don’t Wait!
Before you can save, you must know how much you have to work with currently. In order to do that, spending your money on things like gas or maintenance for your car, bills and even groceries should be the first thing you do since they are needs. For example, you can’t drive your vehicle if there is no gas, you won’t be allowed to continue to live where you want if you can’t pay rent and it goes without question that you can’t eat if you have no money to get food.
So, taking care of the needs in your life are some of the first things you should do. That way, you now know how much you have to do other things like eating out, shopping or even going out of town.
2.) Don’t Put All Your Eggs in One Basket!
By saying this, I am talking about don’t spend all your money in one setting. You can even take things to another level by putting money in a savings account or wherever you save your money at once you get done taking care of your needs. Although I am a firm believer of saving 10% of what you made or just got paid, we are all at different points.
So, save only what you feel comfortable. Just make sure you save something because over time, something grows faster than nothing.
Also, putting something to the side after paying off your needs for the next two weeks to a month can give you a great feeling of adulting in the sense that you know that you are saving for that next big purchase. You won’t feel any guilt because you not only have been saving, but you can afford the purchase without spending your all.
3.) Have A Plan in Place!
Many times, we have these huge goals for each new year to do something in our life different than how we have been doing them, but then we just stop with words and don’t take action. and seem to be only that words. A key to any new task from weight loss, to learning a new language and everything in between requires a plan of some kind that allows the task at hand to keep being repeated in our everyday lives until it is second nature. Even many of the wealthy Americans who are now known as saving gurus had to learn how to save one day at a time. It’s not just something that they learned overnight.
It is in that plan that we must be realistic with ourselves in knowing what we can or cannot do. That way, the goals are easier to accomplish and not out of reach, which would only bring your confidence down until you don’t think you will ever be able to reach that goal.
4.) Shop Smart!
Knowing when to shop and when to save money be just as important, if not the most important trait when it comes to saving more. The decision to stay in that night or going out to the club or a party, to buy your lunch or bring a lunch from home, or even to meal prep instead of eating out every night. Knowing when to spend and save can easily be the key to success when it comes to saving because in order to save money, you can’t spend it.
We all know there are times when we simply don’t want to eat at home or it would just be better to get Starbucks instead of making a cup of coffee. Just simply knowing when it is okay for you to eat out and when you should dine in is a question that only you can answer based off your savings goals.
It is with these steps that anyone can become an amazing saver and in fact, reach any financial goal that may be in store for whoever wishes to save more going forward in their life. Remember that better savings won’t happen overnight, especially when you are used to living a certain type of way for so many weeks, months and even years. For this kind of change, like most changes of this magnitude, there will be sacrifices that need to be made in order to reach your goal(s) and only you can make them.
Photo courtesy of Money Rates.