Saving money is important. We all know that. But knowing is not the same as doing.
For some people, saving money is like going on a healthy diet. You get inspired and start to do it, but after a few weeks, self-pity creeps in and you begin hating it.
If you usually fail at saving money or you think it’s really difficult to do, then here are some money-saving tips that could help you.
Save first, then spend the rest
At the instant you receive your income, immediately set aside a portion and put it in your savings account. After that, you can now spend the rest of your salary without guilt.
This is what they call paying yourself first, which is easier and more fun to do than scrimping on your expenses so you’ll have money left as your savings until the next pay day comes. Try it because this really works.
Make saving money automatic
How do you make saving automatic? There are several ways. One is to go to the bank that handles your company payroll account and ask if they have an automatic savings plan or if you can have one arranged.
What this means is that whenever payday comes, the bank will automatically deduct a fixed amount from your salary and deposit it to a separate savings account. There are also bank products out there that can do this for you.
Make your savings not easily accessible
When your savings account is just one automated teller machine withdrawal away, then you’re more likely to touch it. Make it inconvenient to for you to get cash out of your savings.
Simply having a pure passbook bank account is a good start.
As for me, I have a bank savings account that only allows me up to three over-the-counter cash withdrawals a month (but unlimited deposit transactions).
The Filipino paluwagan system provides a similar inaccessibility to your savings. But you have to make sure that the members of the paluwagan are trustworthy and really dedicated to paying their dues.
Always use cash
When you always use cash, you’ll be more aware of your budget. This will help you avoid accumulating debts and encourage you to live within your means.
Simply put, pay yourself first, then always use cash. Do this, and you’ll end up with no credit and a savings account that you don’t have to touch to pay debts.
Set a benchmark and a reward for saving money
They say that you should save money for the “rainy days”. Personally, I believe that’s a pessimistic (and vague) reason to encourage yourself into saving. I find myself more motivated into saving money when I set a reward for myself whenever I reach a certain amount.
For example, I allow myself to guiltlessly splurge P2,000 on anything I want whenever I am able to increase my savings by P10,000. Other times, I reward myself with a fancy dinner in a restaurant after every week of no unnecessary spending.
To sum it all up, if you’re having a hard time saving money, then try to pay yourself first. Find a way to make it automatic, and be sure that your money is not easily accessible.
Then you can spend the rest of your income without guilt. But remember to always pay in cash, and avoid debt. Last give yourself a reward for being successful at saving. Make it as often as you can afford it.
Fitz Villafuerte is a registered financial planner of RFP Philippines. Learn more about personal financial planning at the 63rd RFP program this July 2017. To inquire, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or text <name><e-mail> <RFP> at 0917-9689774.
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