Regardless of which point of life you are at – a fresh graduate barely scraping by with your meagre pay, or an experienced veteran bringing home a fat paycheck every month – there is no denying that saving money is an essential habit to pick up (if you haven’t already!).
We know, saving seems impossible when the temptations of material possessions seem to linger in your mind 24/7. Think about it this way: while buying that new limited edition Chanel handbag might seem like a wise idea now, you will definitely feel the pinch of being 3.4 lakh poorer 2 years down the road.
With the fluctuating economic climate and ever-present inflation, being thrifty will definitely aid in ensuring financial stability and security in the long run. However, frugality does not mean that you have to be a scrooge – here are 6 money-saving mantras that will allow you to increase your bank account balance without missing out on the finer things in life!
Find a compelling reason to start saving money
Before you even begin slotting coins into a piggybank, it is vital to think of the true reason behind your motivation to start saving money. No matter if it’s as simple as you wanting to enjoy retirement life 30 years from now; a compelling reason will equip you with a necessary dose of resilience to keep you on track. Undoubtedly, discipline and self-regulation are the cornerstones of a successful savings plan – and constantly reminding ourselves of the true reason why we painstakingly chose to leave that gorgeous sequined kurta behind will only help us stay firm in our mission of saving money.
Allocate a monthly budget for your expenses – and stick to it!
I know, the b-word is terribly intimidating and off-putting – but a budget is a necessary cliché in the realm of financial savings. Allocating a monthly budget doesn’t have to be an elaborate number-crunching process where you whip out all your financial statements and calculators. All you need is a simple Excel sheet or financial planning mobile application to list out the limits you plan to set for your various expenses, such as travel, food and clothing.
More often than not, these small expenditures go unnoticed and accumulate to form a huge portion of our monthly expenditure. Planning a budget will help in keeping tabs on these small (but deadly) purchases and result in a reduced risk of overspending.
From your monthly salary, keep aside 15% as savings and spend the rest on necessary expenses; not the other way around where you spend first and save later. Spending what is left after saving is a foolproof way to increase your savings – many people are unable to have substantial savings because they have barely anything left after spending.
Prevent impulse purchases by shopping with a list
Enticing neon yellow signs scream ‘‘BUY 3 GET 1 FREE’ in conspicuous red font, luring you into the black hole of impulse shopping. You just wanted to get a lip balm from the drugstore – but you somehow returned with a bag full of eyeliner, mascara and lipsticks. If this sounds all too familiar, rest assured that you’re not the only victim of these sales.
All of us fall prey to this genius marketing gimmick and get hooked by the promise of ‘free’ things that we don’t actually need. If you have the tendency to purchase more items just to get a better deal, there is no better time than now to kick this bad habit and start saving! Shopping with a list provides you with a list of requirements that will help you stay resolute and avoid unnecessary expenditure.
Stay away from plastic money
Credit cards, debit cards, rewards cards… Is plastic money the plastic root of all evil? Yes, when you’re not diligent in keeping track of your spending. Simply penning your signature onto a receipt does not pack as much of an impact as it does by paying in cold, hard-earned cash. Parting with actual money makes the spender feel more of a pinch and thereby avoid spending on non-essentials.
One way to prevent yourself from going on a card-swiping spree would be to leave your cards at home and bring out a designated amount of cash. This way, you will be able to avoid the nasty surprise of a huge bill at the end of every month.
Postpone your purchases
You know the saying ‘good things come to those who wait’? Well, this couldn’t be more true in the context of saving money. As much as you want to get your hands on the latest iPhone 6S or Samsung Galaxy S7, waiting for a few months can help you save huge – the prices of phones tend to fall as soon as a successor emerges in the market.
Same goes for online shopping: if you’ve spotted something of your fancy, it is best to wait till Wednesday. Although the reason is unknown, many online sites offer hump day sales and offers so you can still enjoy retail therapy without the hefty price tag!
Prepaid mobile services are the way to go!
Choosing a prepaid mobile plan can aid in saving money on expenses as essential as your phone bills. Prepaid mobile services aid in decreasing your phone bills as the act of recharging will allow you to better keep track of your expenses – as compared to using a post-paid mobile plan which sometimes come with an ugly surprise at the end of every month, especially when you lose track of your data usage.
Furthermore, with the emergence of online mobile recharge sites like Paytm, you no longer have to trudge to the nearest convenience store to top-up your prepaid cards – simply do it from the comfort of your home! You can also earn 5% cashback on your Paytm prepaid recharges when you use ShopBack! Not a bad deal, right?
There is no better time than now to pick up the good habit of saving – just think about the financial security you will have when you’re older. As simple as the aforementioned tips might sound, they play a huge role in helping you shave off the unnecessary expenditures and teach you how to be disciplined with your savings. Try sticking to these mantras and you just might find your bank account balance increase steadily!