Thinking of saving money but don’t know how? Want to save for the future but having a hard time considering too many things?
Saving money is not that easy especially if you have a lot of things in mind: travel, gadgets, credit card bills, electric bills, phone bills, house amortizations and many more.
Here are some helpful tips that may come in handy when saving money that I believe is essential that we usually tend to overlook.
1. Pay your “utang” or debts
If you own a credit card or two and you are unable to pay the sum or the total amount on due dates, think again. The interests in credit cards are higher compared to loaning cash from a bank. Unless you can manage your finances in which you can zero out the credit card debts every time, then go ahead and maintain your credit cards, however, if you can’t then do yourself a favor, pay it immediately then just maintain 1 card and cut the rest. It will allow you to focus on just one thing so when the bills come you won’t feel the pressure to zero everything out at the same time.
2. Pay yourself first
The phrase doesn’t mean that you will get paid and earn money literally, no! But it’s like you are saving it. As a rule of thumb, you should have an emergency fund, retirement and a savings account, some may add mutual fund etc. However, with pay yourself first, the general idea is that every payday, before you pay anything else, you need to set aside money and put it in your bank, like you are literally paying yourself. But don’t withdraw it! Treat them like a regular bill – electric bill or phone bill alike – and set it off and forget it in a while. Sooner or later you will be amazed at what you have. Just a tip, set your goal as to how much you want to pay –let’s say you will start at 3%. Eventually, start increasing the amount that you want to pay yourself until you’re comfortable with the amount.
3. Open an interest-bearing savings account
This is a good tandem with pay yourself first. A savings account that earns interest is pretty much a good idea. What could possibly go wrong with a savings account that bears interest which follows that you earn money when all you ever did was just deposit? How cool is that?
4. Make a List
Keeping a list of what you will buy before heading to the market or the mall is always a better option rather than just walking in and buying what you think you need. You need to practice being organized. So make a list of the things that you want to purchase; it could be personal items, groceries, produce or frozen foods and stick with the list.
5. Keep a record of your expenses
It’s like a track record of the things you spent on. In this manner, you will know where you have used your money should you be forgetful and you can evaluate if you need to spend money on your magazine subscription or not.
6. Trim your expenses
After keeping a record of your expenses, you should study on which part you can trim or cut or discontinue a service or something else to save money. Let’s say your cable. If you will only use your cable few hours a month, think again. It would be better to cut it and maintain the internet instead.
7. Book early (for travelers)
If you fancy traveling for a vacation frequently, you need to plan ahead of time for practical reasons. A flight booked 6 months or 10 months before the actual date is really cheaper than the ones being booked a month or two from the actual date, also, some airlines (like CebuPacific and PAL Express) offer seat sale (the infamous “piso fare” of CebuPac) which really brings traveling to a whole new level. It will also allow you to save enough money for the trip, who doesn’t need pocket money anyway?
8. Plan your own package (for travelers)
Of course, when you book a flight for a vacation, you need a place where to stay during the night and a possible tour on the location. Research or ask people who visited the place or check the ever helpful Mr. Google on the best place where to stay and the best places to visit like theme parks, museums, historical sites, temples, beaches and many more. From there, make your own package and contact the places, it’s a bit tedious but you will be amazed on how much money you will save if you will do it rather than with a travel agency.
9. Buy when in sale
Shopping is everybody’s favorite past time (admit it gentlemen). But why would you spend more money if you can buy them half the price? Yes! Half the “original” price! Have you ever heard of “Mall Sale”? During a mall sale, you can expect drop prices on most items. So take advantage of the opportunity. A disclaimer though, don’t expect the sale for current models or styles, the things being placed on sale are those items which remains unsold for a long time but in a very good condition. But fear not! Still, a sale is a sale! So cheer up!
10. Do-It-Yourself: DIY
Why buy something that you can make or do? Why pay for services that you can do yourself? Doing things by yourself will save you a lot of money not to mention you will learn a lot and you can add it to your can-do-yourself list.
11. Sell your clutter on-Line
If you have something you’re not using, sell it! It’s better for someone to use it rather than keep it and not use it at all. Do a garage sale! Let people help you while you help them. It’s hitting two birds at once. Nice right?
12. Give up your vices
It’s a no brainer: smoking, drinking, drugs and overeating are habits that are not only destructive but something that will cost you more than its retail price. So give it up before your body give up!
13. Make your own meals rather than buy take-outs.
Buying take-out foods costs twice when you make your meal. Imagine buying fried chicken from KFC , Jollibee or McDonalds against when you buy a whole chicken and you fry it yourself. Plus, it would be healthier because you know what you are putting on those chickens.
14. Collect loose change in a Jar
Instead of leaving it inside the car, collect those loose coins and place it in a jar. By the end of the year you will have few extra cash that you can spend just about anywhere.
15. Ask yourself: Do I really need this?
Lastly, the basic and most important thing you really need to ask yourself: ‘Do I really need this’? Because most likely, if you don’t need it, you don’t need to buy it! The less money to spend is more money you can save!.
The Art of Proper Saving
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