Saving money is quite a challenge. Often, people save money after getting the expenses out of the way. Some people advice though that money for expenses should be taken out of the budget after you have set aside a certain amount for savings. This can be rather hard to do if you have already fallen into the pattern of spending first and then saving. You have to motivate yourself to save money if you want to see some real savings.
How do you do it?
Start with a goal. What are you saving for? Write down what you want the money for. Is it for a new computer? Do you really want a new TV or game console? Are you saving for that dream vacation? Would you like to set aside money for college? Are you setting up a fund for the kidsÂ' school expenses? Are you saving up for retirement?
Write down whatever your goal is. Always keep this in sight to remind you of what you want. Saving is easier if you can see the end in sight. Make sure that the amount you are saving for is feasible. DonÂ't get frustrated by setting a goal that is impossibly high. Start small if you have to so you can get used to the idea of saving. Move on to the bigger things once youÂ've adjusted to a lifestyle of saving. Getting frustrated early on can put a dent into your motivation.
Okay, you now know how much money you would like to save. The next step is to think of the steps you will take to reach that goal. You know what that means, right? Yes, time to break out the calculator and create a budget.
Assess your expenses. Which of these are absolutely necessary? Stick to the basics. Which of your expenses can you do without? If you want to see how much money is really going out of your pocket, stop using your credit card. Write down each expense you make. Be meticulous about record keeping. Add them up at the end of the week. Surprised? DonÂ't be. Many expenses donÂ't seem to be too much when taken individually. When they start adding up though, they can amount to a significant sum.
Discipline yourself and cut back. Eat at home more instead of dining out. Cook meals at home. You can save a lot of money by cutting back on your nights out. Use coupons when doing your grocery. Every dollar that you save goes right into your savings account. The sooner you meet your goal, the sooner you enjoy the benefits.
Patience is key. Good things come to those who wait and discipline their selves in the meantime. Keep your eyes on the goal. Do not let little inconveniences hamper you from your goal. If you get easily distracted by shiny things like department store sales, stay away. Do not torture yourself needlessly. Do not put yourself into a position where temptation may become too strong to resist. Take a deep breath and remind yourself you have a higher goal in mind.
Define your needs and wants. Sure, clothing is a basic need but do you really need two new jackets? And shoes to match? Know what the difference between a need and a want is. Your wants will come in the way of your savings goal. Always keep your goal visible so as not to lose sight of ultimate prize.
Victory is always sweeter if you have worked hard for it. When you reach your goal, nothing will taste as sweet, knowing that you have sacrificed for the prize.
Enjoy the sensation and the reward. And ramp up the next challenge. You know you can do it. Now, step up the ante.
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