Saving Money Like A Pro

saving money

Saving Money – The Basics

Actually, saving money can become almost like a breeze if you have enough knowledge of its basics. Since spending your money relies entirely on your ability to manage it, it’s essential to maintain your strength of will, and create good money-saving habits. 

Gain Self-Control

Saving money is all about controlling your impulses to spend less than what you earn. 

Three ways that affects saving is:

  • Impulse buying – one of the main sources of financial failure
  • credit card debt 
  • supporting a bad habit

To strengthen your self-control or willingness to save, you need to exercise. Exercise your self-control regularly to develop money-saving behavior that you can carry throughout the years. Create good financial management habits today. If you do, it will be essential to your future financial success, and to the building of your savings.

Saving Money and Patience

Patience is the opposite of impulsiveness. But oh-so-hard when you’re not used to using this “muscle”. This “muscle” will not only save you money, it will also help you make better decisions.

When it comes to buying anything (except maybe stocks), your patience “muscle” is key. 

Here’s a way to check in with yourself if you really need an item (and a good way to train your patience “muscle”):

If there’s something that you want to buy, put it in your 30-day list and don’t buy it until 30 days have elapsed. With this method, all impulse buys will be prevented, and you reduce the amount of expenses you have. This significantly increases the amount of money you’re able to save in one month. 

Saving Money by Spending Less than You Earn

This is a no-brainer. In order to save any money at all, it’s vital that you always spend less than what you earn. Just by following this one rule you’ll be on the road to saving money – it’s really that easy. Even if you’re not saving very much at the beginning, establishing good money-saving habits is a great place to start. 

Over time, you can increase how much money you save and eventually deem a percentage of your paycheck to go to your savings every month.

Saving Money by budgeting

A budget consists of a monetary strategy to tackle your expenses and to plan for your goals. When having a budget in place, you can plan how you will pay for your fixed expenses, monitor how much you spend on variable costs such as food and transportation, save for the future, and prepare for unexpected costs that will arise. 

Budgets are dictated by your income and fixed expenses. Payments such as rent or mortgage, loans and car leases, utilities, and credit card bills are all part of a monthly budget. 

These are often the same from month to month, making it a fixed amount. Or they might vary throughout the year, but the cost is known up front for months ahead. Variable costs, like food, clothes, and transportation are what make your budget vulnerable to disruptions. 

Since these are not steady costs, it’s crucial to manage these categories of spending as much as possible. 

saving money

The Concept Behind Budgeting

The concept of a budget is that of allocating portions of your income to cover your expenses. This includes a percentage that is “paid” to your savings, much like a regular bill, which enables you to create a habit of saving money. 

Sometimes it isn’t possible to save the same amount every month, but you should estimate a range that you wish to save on average. You might determine a range of 10% to 20% of your paycheck is to be saved each month. But with variable expenses, you can save 10% on the months when you have more expenses, and 20% on those when your budget is on target. 

An easy way to calculate your budget is to take your average monthly income and subtract all of your fixed expenses. From the remainder you can calculate a small budget for your variable costs and pocket money. You can do this by determining a percentage of the remainder to be used for each category, or you can calculate a fixed amount – whatever works best in your case. 

Another, and in my opinion more correct way of creating a budget, is to use a more in depth planner, like the one below. Use this link, and the code FRUGAL to get a 75% discount.

Saving Money by Cutting Expenses

1. Use Multi-Purpose Products. A great way to save on unnecessary products is by using multi-purpose household items that can meet a variety of needs. Instead of purchasing teeth whitening strips, stain removers, and bleach, use baking soda for all three of these purposes. 

2. Cancel Magazine Subscriptions. Magazines are one of the most common variable expenses in the average American family. Families spend from $50 to $100 per year on magazine subscriptions. Added to your food savings, gas savings, and others, it makes up a good chunk of money that you could be adding to your savings account.

3. Go Wholesale. Whether you buy food or school supplies in bulk, this is a surefire way to save big. You can reduce costs by more than 25 percent by buying in bulk, sometimes cutting close to 50 percent of the retail price tag. If you purchase food items in bulk, make sure they can be frozen and aren’t perishable. Foods like meat, vegetables, dough, and bread can all be frozen for posterity. Others, like rice, nuts, beans, and snacks, can be kept for over a year if stored properly in the pantry.

4. Use Leftovers. Instead of throwing away leftovers, use some creativity to incorporate them into your dishes. If you have a leftover stew, make a quick soup, add some barley, rice, or pasta, and then incorporate the stew. If you have a bean casserole from the night before, combine it with some broccoli, cheese, and bacon to make a quick pie. 

Want more tips on budgeting or living frugal today? Read more in the blog.

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