I always get so excited about receiving my paycheck but this is where the problem begins. Saving is challenging and, in the excitement, you end up spending most of your money and saving close to nothing.
It is easy to get into the habit of not planning and recklessly spending your money. Truth be told, there’s a lot of bills to be paid – rent, water, electricity, TV. As a woman, you also need to spend money on fancy clothes, jewelry, shoes, and designer bags. And of course, some money goes into having a good time with the girls.
And when you spend your money without a proper plan, your savings don’t grow. You may not even have any. The problem with poor savings is that it limits your potential to grow financially and you often end up stuck. To enjoy financial freedom, you need to be able to know how to save your money. In this post, I look at the shortcomings when it comes to saving money and exactly how you can break out of the vicious cycle of poor saving. As a bonus, I will be gifting you with a monthly budgeting plan that you can download below!
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Why Is Saving Important?
It is imperative to understand why you should put aside some percentage of your income every month. Saving is defined as unspent income or deferred spending. Common methods of saving include;
- Putting money in locked savings accounts
- Personal accounts
- Saving groups.
I have been saving for about 2 years now and I still find it challenging. But much as it can be hard, it is worth it. Do not think of it as putting aside a chunk of your income and cutting your spending. In reality, it’s not as scary as that. All you have to do is put away a small amount, for instance about 20 dollars. This is the best way to save money as it allows you to put aside some cash even on a tight budget without compromising on the important stuff.
Savings are crucial as they help you:
- In case of a financial emergency
- Make large purchases
- Avoid debt
- Reduce stress
- Enjoy financial freedom
7 great ways to save money fast
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1.Track your spending
Many of us ladies go around spending money without actually stopping to monitor our spending. You might be on your way back from work and you spot an elegant gold dress on display and you just cannot get rid of the urge to buy it. So, after standing outside the store, you walk in, try it out and go ahead and purchase it. After all, why work so hard, when you cannot spend on all the luxurious things you desire?
This sort of impulse buying, if it goes on unchecked can be disastrous. Since you are always spending money at the boutiques, spas, malls, and gift shops it becomes difficult to tell where all your money is going. You, thus, have to be woke and keep track of your spending. This includes monitoring how much you spend on groceries to how much you spend on clothing, fuel, and other utility bills.
You need to create a habit of checking accounts, knowing how much you deposit and how many dollars you use to take care of different expenses. You need to know at all times how much money you have and what percentage of it you have to spare.
2.Create a budget
This money saving tip is usually the first to come to mind. Creating a budget entails listing all your expenses and allocating the amount of money you will spend on each. You then add everything up. Most women use monthly budgets (Total monthly expenditure). But is having a budget enough when you aren’t accountable?
Many of us actually have a budget. The problem comes in when you don’t stick to this budget. You, therefore end up spending on items you didn’t originally plan for. You may also fail to put aside what you budgeted for savings. So, much as it is great to draft a budget, it’s even more vital that you stick to your budget and spend only on the things you need. I created a FREE monthly budgeting plan to help you that you can download down below.
3.Decide on your priorities
For us women, this might be the most challenging yet it is one of the most effective ways to save money on a tight budget. Separating your needs from wants is crucial when saving up. The list of things we need and want is long. We need to get our hair done, nails done, spa treatment, shoes, dresses, bags, makeup, and the list goes on. Then there’s the fundamental stuff like groceries, water, electricity, fuel, medical insurance and rent.
You need to be able to know what to prioritize and what not to. For example, you can forgo getting a designer bag every other month because you already have too many. Instead, prioritize the crucial bills then put away some of the money into savings.
4.Find ways to cut your spending
Many things need spending on. So, when it comes to cutting your spending it can be a little challenging. The easiest way to do this is to pay only for what you use. You don’t need to pay for Netflix or Hulu yet you hardly ever sit down to watch a movie. You don’t need to pay for a year’s worth of membership at the gym when you hardly ever go there.
Also, make sure you take advantage of discounts. For instance, during the festive season, several items are discounted. You can buy in bulk at such times of the year. It also means planning your meals so that there’s less wastage. Other simple ways to save money by cutting your spending include walking when you can, buying produce in season, and making your coffee instead of getting it from that corner cafe you love.
5.Have a designated savings account
A lot of us use our personal/ spending accounts as our savings account. Savings account usually limits the number of times you withdraw and the withdrawal amount. They also yield more interest and this may motivate you to keep off.
A savings account helps you avoid the temptation to go into your account to cover non-emergency expenses. Look at it this way – you are protecting yourself from yourself! This way you are also able to set aside funds for major expenses.
6.Automate your savings
Since saving can be a struggle, it might help to automate your savings. You are more likely to save consistently and grow your nest eggs. You can save a certain percentage from your paycheck every month without fail. Some banks let you set up an automatic deposit from your spending account to your savings account.
Another option is to use automatic saving tools. Several apps help you meet your short-term and long-term saving goals. Some offer saving solutions while others give the option of investing. When choosing a saving app, make sure it’s easy to navigate and is free or doesn’t charge a lot. Saving apps you can use include: Chime, Acorns and Digits.
7.Use the 24-hour rule before making a big purchase
Using the 24-hour rule is an effective, money saving idea especially if you are a spend-a-holic. Many women are impulse buyers and often end up regretting unnecessary purchases. Spending money recklessly often brings feelings of guilt.
To avoid feeling guilty and making unnecessary purchases, wait for 24 hours before you click ‘buy now.’ The 24 hour period gives you time to think if you need a new designer bag or that money can go into savings. You are also able to look around for a better deal and you get value for your money.
The Bottom Line
The most fundamental aspect when it comes to savings is to start small. Put aside a small amount of money every month. Do not think of savings like a weight loss diet. Instead, think of it as wealth health. Start by tracking your spending, deciding on your priorities, drafting a budget then cutting your spending. Be patient and kind to yourself. Also, don’t stress yourself. Gradually, with a little planning and commitment, you will be able to develop lasting, positive saving habits.
Savings should be a priority for women of all ages, from those in their 20s to those in their 40s. And it’s never too late to start. It is also great to have a goal towards which you are saving for in the long term. Remember, slow but steady!
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