The rich are not those who have a lot of money, but those who have enough. How often do people who earn very good money turn to friends and acquaintances to borrow money before the paycheck? And other people who earn much less manage to have a quality vacation, do expensive shopping and still eat well and dress nicely. Why does this happen? It’s very simple: the first does not know how to save money.
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In this article:
- How to learn how to save money
- The essence of saving money
- The 3 principles of savings
- 5 rules for saving money
- Ways to save money on payments
- 7 mistakes in trying to save money
How to learn how to save money
With the ongoing crisis, many people want to know how to learn how to save money so that even with a drop in income there will be enough to live a decent life. The last condition is very important, because no one needs saving for the sake of saving, and the main goal of skillful money management is to be able to spend it on yourself.
There are different ways of saving money, and someone will have to use several methods, and someone will do with one. In our article, we will tell how you can improve your financial literacy, we will give specific techniques that will help you save more money, and we will analyze the typical mistakes that prevent you from living thriftily.
The essence of saving money
What do you think of when you hear the word “savings”? You probably immediately imagine that you have to deprive yourself of all the pleasures of life and sit on buckwheat? But it’s not like that.
Prudent savings allows you to intelligently allocate finances, spend money on important things and not splurge. It helps you not to live from paycheck to paycheck while making large-scale purchases and forming a safety cushion.
Does that sound inspiring? Then be sure to read our article to the end. If you implement at least one tip from it, you will already see results.
How do you learn to save money? First of all, you need to identify the “holes” in your budget, through which the finances are flowing away from you. This category may include even small but regular expenses, such as a cup of coffee every day after work. At first glance, it may seem like a small thing, but it adds up to a significant amount of money over the course of a month.
After taking this step, you can start saving. Giving up one regular purchase will free up money that you can easily save. You won’t even have to think about where to find an additional source of income.
Yes, at first it will be difficult to change habits, and you will have to make some effort. But after a couple of months, a nice sum will accumulate, and then it will be easier to save because you will see the result of your efforts.
What other schemes are there for saving money? Below we tell you about the most effective and common.
3 Principles of saving
Economists long ago developed several options for the reasonable allocation of the budget, so that, regardless of income, you have enough for all important things. These principles work for both personal finances and general family finances.
The 50/20/30 Principle.
As the creators of the system say, your mandatory expenses should be no more than 50 percent of your monthly income. This includes paying for housing, utilities, spending on travel, food, buying seasonal necessities, and other household items.
20 percent of your income should be immediately put aside in a savings account in the bank or to pay off debts so that you can pay off all debts as soon as possible. 30% should be spent on pleasant activities like entertainment, travel, and personal purchases.
This scheme makes it easy to set aside one-fifth of your total income for the year. It works great because it doesn’t force you to severely limit your enjoyment.
The only difficulty may be that spending is not always exactly half. Some citizens of our country have 50% of their budget spent only on paying the mortgage or rent. In this case, you need to try to increase income or use another scheme.
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The only difficulty may be that spending is not always exactly half. Some citizens of our country have 50% of their budget spent only on paying the mortgage or renting an apartment. In this case, you need to try to increase income or use another scheme.
The principle of several envelopes
It also involves dividing the budget, but into more parts, and the categories you choose yourself. For example:
- 60% for mandatory expenses.
- 10% for a savings account.
- 10 percent for big purchases like a TV or a refrigerator.
- 10% for entertainment.
- 10% for tuition.
You can reduce your expenses and put the amount of money you’ve saved into another category. You could replace education with health, save for repairs instead of appliances, and so on. Determine your own priorities.
Put the money for each position in a separate envelope and strictly adhere to the percentages set. Distribute the money as soon as you receive your paycheck to avoid unnecessary spending.
Caution: Do not spend more than the set amount for each category. If you went to a café at the beginning of the month and left all your money there for entertainment, you’ll have to be patient for the rest of the month. To make it easier for you to navigate, set a limit not for the month, but for each week.
This way of allocating the budget suits many, but does not allow you to save quickly and a large amount. For example, for a down payment on a mortgage.
The principle of allocation based on actual expenses
To do this, you need to analyze your expenses over several months. Write down how much and on what you spend, you can in a notebook or in an app, which we also tell you about in this article.
This way you will be able to see real figures and get a complete picture of your budget. You will be able to identify unnecessary expenses and reduce them, as well as plan a gradual reduction of expenses by 1-5% per month.
This principle is easiest to implement because it doesn’t require much effort or change.
The 5 Rules of Budget Savings
You should definitely understand how to learn how to save and set aside. It’s a misconception that you can only save when you increase your income. It works just the opposite – first you master financial planning at any paycheck, then your income goes up.
Studies show that rich people are very meticulous about their money and pragmatic when it comes to their wealth. If they didn’t take care of their money, they would quickly become bankrupt.
To gain financial freedom, follow these 5 tips:
Know your exact spending figure. How much do you have to spend each month and in what categories? Think about how you can optimize your budget.
List all of your income. Your goal is for them to fully cover your expenses and still have some money left over. Don’t count “random” money here, such as gifts or winnings.
Start saving money. After calculating your income and expenses, determine the exact amount or percentage you can set aside each month. Only regularity and strict adherence to a plan work here. Even 3 grand a month will eventually turn into big numbers that will support you. Make savings untouchable, and if you notice you’re turning to them too often, reconsider your spending.
Document accomplishments. Color in the squares with the amount you’ve already managed to save, keep other trackers, and record how much you’ve managed to save. This step will allow you to see the results and motivate you to keep moving toward your financial goals.
Look at things realistically and don’t go overboard in the savings process. It is strange to go to the store on the other side of town because there is a promotion and bread is 2 rubles cheaper. If you limit yourself drastically in everything and save 90% of the money, you will quickly “burn through”.
The task of financial planning is to form a “safety cushion”, to optimize expenses and income, and not to deprive yourself of all the pleasures of life. Strike a balance.
Ways to learn how to save on payments
How can you save money on electricity?
- Prioritize new energy-saving appliances (kettle, refrigerator, etc.) They can reduce electricity use by 40%.
- Add other energy-saving features (such as improved insulation and an energy-saving switch).
- Use the microwave more often than the oven. It uses 50% less energy and cooks faster.
- Run only a full dishwasher and only half-loaded.
- Don’t add too much detergent or conditioner. You will have to do an extra rinse because of the excess detergent.
- Adjust the temperature according to the type of clothes, use cold water as often as possible.
- Do not run an overflowing machine.
- In warm weather, dry laundry outside or on the balcony.
- Clean the lint filter after every wash.
- Do not over-dry clothes. This not only wastes energy but also harms the fabric.
- Reduce the temperature from 60°C to 48°C. This simple action will reduce water use by 10%.
- Once a year or six months, drain the water from the bottom of the water heater tank. Otherwise, sludge will form, which consumes more energy.
- Purchase a hot water pipe insulation kit from the store and install it. This will reduce heat loss.
- Take frequent showers instead of baths.
- Turn off lights when you’re not indoors.
- Add other light sources – table lamps, nightlights, etc. They use less energy, so you don’t have to turn on lights throughout the room.
- Use special energy-saving lamps.
- Turn on heaters only when absolutely necessary, they consume a lot of energy.
- Computer and appliances:
- Give preference to laptops (15-45 watts) over desktops (65-250 watts).
- Turn off your computer completely or put it in sleep mode when you’re not using it. Any screen saver doesn’t save energy, it consumes it.
- If you have an old convex monitor, buy a flat-screen LCD instead. It is more modern and several times more efficient.
- Turn off all the appliances you don’t use, such as the oven, TV, lamp, computer, humidifier, and so on. This will greatly reduce your energy consumption.
How can you save money on water?
Here are some proven tips:
Regularly check pipes and faucets for leaks yourself or call a handyman. If you find a drain, fix it immediately.
People usually don’t turn off the faucet and the water just leaks. Turn it off when you shave, wash dishes, wash your hair or brush your teeth. Not only is this approach environmentally friendly, but it will save you a lot of money.
Instead of the usual ones, install water-resistant showerheads. They do not consume 10 liters per minute, but up to 5. There are also special valves that are installed behind the shower and allow you to turn off the water while you wash. Then turn it back on, maintaining the set temperature.
Install an aerator for the faucet. This device adds air to the water flow, making it more stable and allowing you to use fewer cubes without losing comfort.
Decrease the number of hours you spend in the shower. Write down how much time you spend on it and challenge yourself. For example, take the time to shower to a couple of your favorite songs. Fun fact: spending less time in the shower, say, than 2 minutes, will save you 40 liters of water each month.
How do you save money online?
As a rule, there are several Internet providers in any city. Do not sign a contract with the first one you see, and carefully study the conditions of each. Together with a consultant or choose a package that suits you best.
When a company first enters the market, it sets lower prices, but over time the cost increases. The customer base is built up, and now their goal is to make money. If you are no longer satisfied with the terms, feel free to switch to another provider.
Constantly check the rates of your competitors. And one more tip – tell the operator that you are going to leave them. To retain your customer, firms often offer more favorable terms.
Options for saving on food
Don’t go to the store hungry.
If you have an empty stomach, you will buy unhealthy, expensive products and spend a lot more money. This is because, in a half-starved state, the brain looks for fast cars and reaches for sweets.
Don’t slack off in the stores: you’re bound to add something extra to your purchases. Go to grocery stores with a purpose and limit your time there.
Don’t buy perishable foods.
Especially if you only do it because they are on sale. When you buy fruits or vegetables, be sure to look at their ripeness. Don’t take more than the amount you can consume. Even after a couple of days, the product may not look as appetizing and may taste disgusting.
Only buy cottage cheese or other dairy products if you know you will use them soon. Tons of products are sent to the landfill every day simply because people don’t have time to eat them.
Prepare your weekly menu and grocery list in advance
If you go to the store without a specific purpose, you risk putting a lot of unnecessary things in the basket. Perhaps at some point, you will find something tasty and interesting, but at home, you will never find a use for it.
By having a clearly defined menu, you will know exactly what you need. Buy only the foods you need; it will save you time at the store.
Buy white meat instead of red meat.
Red meat (like pork or beef) is fatty and less healthy. Scientists proved long ago that its excessive consumption increases the risk of developing unpleasant diseases. In addition, it is expensive.
In turn, white chicken meat is more dietary and cheaper. Give preference to it, and leave the red stuff for the holidays. Or organize yourself sometimes a day of unloading wisely.
Get a coffee machine at home or in the office.
It seems like such an expensive purchase. How can it save you money? Of course, it can. Coffee lovers leave thousands of rubles every month in coffee shops, special vending machines, or street outlets. Now, this drink has become a cult of sorts.
If you can’t do without coffee, then buying a coffee machine will be a profitable purchase in the long run and will pay for itself in a year. In addition, the use of disposable cups is not exactly environmentally friendly, and here you will have your own utensils
7 mistakes in trying to save money
Putting money aside at the end of the month.
Many people think you should save what’s leftover, and that’s a big misconception. No matter how much you earn, as your income increases, so does your spending. The most basic rule of wealthy people is to pay yourself first. So as soon as your paycheck comes in, put some money aside in your piggy bank.
Saving money without a specific goal
First, you simply won’t be motivated to save money. Second, you won’t know how much money you already have in your piggy bank, and you won’t be looking to increase your savings.
If you want to buy a specific item, find out its price in the store. The same goes for travel, consult a tour operator. If you just want to form a safety cushion, calculate your expenses for the month and multiply them by 6. Aim to accumulate the resulting amount.
Follow inflated expectations.
If you set your goal too ambitious, at some point you will just give up. Then you’ll give up on the idea and stop striving for financial freedom altogether.
Determine how much you can really save. 30,000 a year, 100 or 200? Praise yourself for any accomplishments and don’t devalue steps toward your goal. Then your motivation level and desire to keep going will be much higher.
Keep it all in one place
Don’t keep your savings with the rest of your money, set it aside in a separate account. If everything is jumbled together, there’s too great a chance of not putting anything away. Diversify your savings by investing in dollars, stocks, and bonds, and insuring your savings.
Don’t chase big discounts and points
Many companies offer their customers loyalty cards – the higher the number of purchases, the higher the percentage of discounts, and so on. This encourages you to reach the right figure and spend the extra.
Invest in yourself.
This can be a problem in the long run. If you want to make more money, you need to constantly develop and invest in your training. Development hardly means doing routine writing work, special services can help you with that, development is about improving your knowledge, filling your mind with new fresh ideas and knowledge. Professional development is an important category of expenses, so you need to pay attention to it.
We have shared with you a lot of tips on how to learn to save and conserve money. If you’re interested in this article and you’ve read it to the end, that’s already a big step. Now it’s time to act! Do not stop at the theory and apply all the recommendations in practice, then already in a year you will be able to save a significant amount of money.