How to Save Money – Could you image putting money aside each paycheck and letting your bank account grow? Does saving money sound like just an idea, but not something you could achieve? Perhaps you’d be debt-free at last. We will talk about the basics of saving money to reduce stress and gain enjoyment.
How to start saving money
Saving money starts with your mindset right.
Avoid thinking of money-saving techniques as restrictive – although they can often feel that way. At CheapBastard, we think about a budget as a spending plan because saving money doesn’t mean you have to quit spending altogether.
Saving money will have to prioritize some financial goals over others.
Get serious about a budget
Now, are you ready to get started? We recommend the 50/30/20 budget for effective money management. Devote 50% of your income to necessities, 30% to wants and 20% to savings/paying off debt. If you find one of your allocations exceeds these percentages, make some adjustments to fit the formula.
Use Many Savings Accounts
If you find a bank or credit union that offers a free savings account, you can open up several savings accounts. Then every time you get paid, you can put money into each of these accounts for every specific thing that you are saving for. This way you can keep your money safe from accidentally being spent, and it will be there when you need it.
These accounts don’t have to be actual bank or credit union savings accounts, they can be high interest accounts, Tax Free Savings Accounts (TFSAs), RRSPs, term deposits, mutual funds, or other investments.
Just make sure that you don’t lock up money in a long-term investment that you might need in the short term .
What is the 50/20/30 budget rule?
Senator Elizabeth Warren popularized the 50/20/30 budget rule in her book “All Your Worth: The Ultimate Lifetime Money Plan.” The basic rule is to divide after-tax income, spending 50% on needs and 30% on wants while allocating 20% to savings.
Needs are those bills that you absolutely must pay and are the things necessary for survival. These include rent or mortgage payments, car payments, groceries, insurance, health care, minimum debt payment and utilities. The “needs” category does not include items that are extras, such as HBO, Netflix, Starbucks and dining out.
Wants are all the things you spend money on that are not absolutely essential. This includes dinner and movies out, that new handbag, tickets to sporting events, vacations, the latest electronics gadget and ultra-high-speed Internet.
This category also includes those upgrade decisions you make, such as choosing a costlier steak instead of a less expensive hamburger. Buying a Mercedes instead of a more economical Honda. Choosing between watching television using an antenna for free and spending money to watch cable TV. Basically, wants are all those little extras you spend money on that make life more enjoyable and entertaining.
Allocate 20% of your income to savings and investments. This includes adding money to an emergency fund in a bank savings account, making IRA contributions to a mutual fund account and investing in the stock market.
Savings can also include debt repayment. While minimum payments are part of the “needs” category, any extra payments reduce principle and future interest owed, so they are savings.
Monthly money saving tips
When living paycheck to paycheck, here are our top 5 recommendations for putting a little more into your savings account.
Lowering recurring payments may be some work, but the potential savings can make the effort worthwhile. You could save as much as $40 per month by changing your cable package. More than $50 per month by refinancing your car loan.
5. Lower your car payment: Refinancing your auto loan to take advantage of lower interest rates could save you $1,000 or more over the life of your loan. But that’s just our first option.
4. Bundle cable and internet: You could lower your cable bill by as much as $40 per month by changing your cable package. You could save more than $1,000 over two years by bundling your cable and internet service, depending on your carrier.
3. Switch your cell phone plan: Changing your plan is one way to save money on your cell phone bill, but it’s not the only way. For starters, you may not need insurance. Removing it from your plan could save you nearly $100 per year, per line.
2. Monitor your electric bill: Big and small changes in your energy usage can help you save as much as $550 annually on your electric bill. – I did learn that shutting off your cable box at night, saved me over $40 per month (2 cable boxes). Food for thought, that is crazy.
1. Lower your student loan payments: Income-driven repayment plans can lower your monthly student loan payments by several hundred dollars each month.
Bonus: Cancel unnecessary subscriptions. Uncheck the auto-renew option on any subscriptions you aren’t using regularly, such as subscription boxes or streaming services. That’ll help cross at least a few recurring charges off your monthly credit card statement.
Saving Money Doesn’t Have to Be Hard
One of the hardest parts of budgeting is finding a few minutes each month to actually sit down and figure out your budget. If you are on a budget, I would suggest starting out with a spreadsheet, and sorting out bills per paycheck. Anything left over put in savings and forget it.
Life gets busy, after all! Using a spreadsheet saves you time by copying your budget from the previous month. That way, all you have to do is make some minor adjustments (for that birthday gift or those travel plans) and you’re good to go!
So, What Is the Secret to Saving Money?
You can stop the cycle of living paycheck to paycheck with a simple secret: make a budget before the month begins. A budget is all about being intentional. Create a plan to see where your money is going and how much you can save each month. It’s never too late to take control of your money!
Keep up the good work and continue saving money
Review your budget and check your progress every month. Not only will this help you stick to your personal savings plan, but it also helps you identify and fix problems quickly. These simple ways to save may even inspire you to save more money every day and hit your goals faster.