Sometimes the first step is the hardest. I’ve compiled the 6 best strategies to save money and achieve your savings goals fast according to financial experts.
Limited funds or little discipline, these two are among the top challenges we encounter when saving money. Money is hard enough to get by for most of the population, understanding how to keep it is all the more difficult. And yet, money matters are something we have to deal with on a daily basis.
If you want to achieve your money goals and turn your financial life around, then start saving money. Sometimes, all it takes is to take the first step in the right direction to get things started and moving. Of course, the very first step seems to be the hardest part.
Don’t worry, I got you covered! Below are the 6 best strategies to save money and achieve your money goals fast according to finance experts.
1. Automatic Savings
For most of us, saving money isn’t probably the first thing that comes to mind when we receive our paychecks. It might even be the last priority after paying the bills, debts, and budgeting for the daily necessities.
But did you know that you don’t have to stress about it when you save automatically?
This trick is what we call “Paying yourself first”! You assign a percentage of your paycheck to go straight to a savings account via direct deposit. This helps you save before you spend your money on other expenses. You can also make this possible by setting up an automatic transfer from your checking account to your savings account.
Once you’ve arranged your automatic savings with your bank, you don’t have to put extra effort into saving money. Just sit back and watch your savings grow.
2. Save with a Plan in Mind
You’re setting yourself up for financial disaster if you intend to save without a plan. As the saying goes: If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
And that couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Start by adding SAVINGS as a line item in your budget. As I have relentlessly mentioned in my blogs, a budget is essentially your plan for your money. If you’re not budgeting already, here are three budgeting methods to try to achieve your money goals.
How much you save from paycheck to paycheck is up to you. I use a combination of two budgeting methods to carefully track where my money is going and to ensure that each penny is well-spent.
Aim to save 10 to 20 per cent of your income. Don’t stress if you don’t seem to hit your saving goal every month. Every little bit counts.
3. Find ways to cut on spending
Do your expenses mount up so high that you can’t save as much as you’d hope? It may be time to cut back on your spending.
Identify the nonessentials that you can spend less money on, such as entertainment or dining out. You can also look for ways to save on your fixed monthly expenses like cutting off or downgrading your cable subscription and cell phone, too. Simply cancel automatic subscriptions and memberships that you don’t regularly use.
Like me, you can put yourself on a cash-only budgeting method so that you don’t rack up any additional debt with your credit card. Once the money is gone in an envelope for a particular spending category, then it’s gone! You will have to wait for the next budgeting cycle to spend again in a particular category.
4. Earn Extra Money
Increasing your income is a surefire way to achieve your saving goals fast. Find a side hustle that you can do while keeping your day job. There are a lot of side hustles out there than you can do, such as a freelance or consulting gig. You can also sell some of your old stuff online or start a small business at home.
According to Wonolo.com, a side hustle is any type of employment undertaken in addition to one’s full-time job. A side hustle is generally freelance or piecework in nature, providing a supplemental income. Side hustles are often things a person is passionate about, rather than a typical day job worked in order to make ends meet.
What’s more, a side hustle not only pads your income, but also creates career-changing opportunities you wouldn’t normally stumble upon at your full-time job.
5. Say Bye-Bye to Debt
If you have debts, they might be the biggest obstacle for you to start saving money and achieve your goals fast. Just imagine how much more money you can save if you get rid of those debts. Hence, you might want to demolish those debts the fastest way possible with the debt snowball method. It’s where you pay off your debt in order from smallest to largest. That sounds kind of nerve-wracking, right? Not to worry, it’s just the psychology of it that makes it very effective. Once you’ve paid off your smallest debt, you’ll have your first victory that will eventually motivate you to attack your next debts successfully. Once your income is freed up from the grasp of debt, you can finally use it to start your progress toward your savings goals.
6. Try a No-Spend Month
One fun way of saving is by following money challenges. They simply turn good financial habits into a game.
Have you tried a no-spend weekend? Seems like an easy feat. How about a no-spend month? Well, that’s a pretty good challenge!
It’s actually simple, you commit to 30 days of spending only on necessities. You take a spending freeze on all nonessential items and saying no to anything that isn’t a basic necessity. This exercise can make a huge difference in your personal balance sheet.
All these 6 best strategies to save money would be useless if you lack the intention and discipline when it comes to keeping your money. For those who are still starting their saving journey, these might seem to be a chore. However, the strategies will turn into good habits in the long run, which your future self and family will thank you for. Financial independence will be just a stone’s throw away.
How do you find these best strategies to save money? Have you tried one or two of these yet? Which do you think is the best one to follow?