Saving money is a habit, plain and simple. You either save money regularly or you don’t. Of course, you could be in the camp that saves what is left over at the end of a pay period. While this may make you feel better, it really doesn’t do much for your financial life. Saving money requires some discipline, but more than anything it requires you to create some new habits. There are a few simple things that you could start off doing to save money. For example, you could take a look at something like Simply Switch to help get you a cheaper energy provider. This way you won’t need to spend as much money on your energy bills and you can save some that way. Obviously, the next step though would be to not use as much energy.
Two Unique and Simple Ways to Save Money
Saving money is a habit, plain and simple. You either save money regularly or you don’t. Of course, you could be in the camp that saves what is left over at the end of a pay period. While this may make you feel better, it really doesn’t do much for your financial life. Saving money requires some discipline, but more than anything it requires you to create some new habits. There are two simple saving methods you should enact in your financial life, and good news, they are simple to do!
You get paid on a certain day and then depending on your pay schedule that money has to last you a week or two weeks or a month. From this money you have to pay for groceries and housing and transportation. And, of course, you also have to pay your student loan bill and make your credit card payment and make sure your car loan payment is up to date. Your paycheck does a lot, but you should still have some left over at the end of your pay period. This buffer amount could be anywhere from $50 to $500. Most people leave it in there as a cushion. But guess what happens to money cushions? They get spent. This is called balance spending. So what exactly is balance spending? It’s the thing that happens when you are in the store deciding whether or not to buy that amazing sweater and you check your bank balance to decide if you should buy it or not. Guess who is buying the sweater? The person with the $500 checking account buffer. If you had saved the money instead of leaving it in your account you would have thought twice about making the impulse purchase.
You could wait until the end of your pay period to save what’s left, but chances are not much will be left. You need to save before you do anything else. The second your pay hits your checking account make a transfer to savings or invest it with a company like stocktrades. The question then becomes, how much do you transfer? This is where knowing your bill schedules and spending habits becomes important. Let’s say every pay period you bring home $1,000. If you get paid on a bi-weekly pay schedule it’s likely you won’t spend the exact same amount each pay period. One pay period you’ll have your mortgage or rent and the other pay period you’ll have your student loan and car payment. Take a minute to go through your pay period and subtract what you’ll spend from your take-home pay. Let’s say at the end of your pay period you’ll have $300 left over. To put the pressure on and to help you avoid balance spending, on the day you get paid transfer half of that amount into savings. You will still have a buffer at the end of your pay period, but removing half of it means you are less likely to make impulse purchases based on what’s in your checking account. Every time you get paid figure up what you’ll have left at the end of your pay period and then save half that amount. Do this every pay period for the rest of your working life. Start today because the sooner you start the sooner it’ll be an ingrained habit.
The second saving habit you need to make a part of your financial life takes place on the day before you get paid. The day you got paid you transferred half of what you’ll have left over at the end of your pay period so by the time you actually get to the end of your pay period you shouldn’t have a lot left over. This is a good thing. But if you do happen to have any money left over, you need to clear it out. Clearing the comfort out of your account means you will continue to make smart spending decisions through the next pay period.
Your financial life is active. You don’t get to just sit by while your money enters and leaves your account. Take part in your financial life by actively saving money for the future. By saving half of what you will have left at the end of a pay period on the day you get paid you’ll help yourself make smarter decisions throughout your pay period. And at the end of you pay period, right before you get paid again clear out as much of your account as you can and put it into savings. There is no need for excess money when your account will be replenished the following day. Take action and create new savings habits today. Another great saving habit is to go through discount extensions through your web browser. My friend told me he had some success with Amazon AZ Discount Assistant, a google chrome extension that finds brilliant deals on amazon.