Everybody has the same issue of being unable to save money. After paying bills, rent, and other miscellaneous responsibilities, you are most probably left with only enough money for food, groceries, or even entertainment occasionally. Most of the time though, by the end of the month you are left with little to no money for your savings. Saving money for a rainy day or emergencies are difficult in this situation when you are struggling to live paycheck-to-paycheck. Here are a few ways to spend money per month in a way that you still live within your means and not make a hole in your wallet.
Write down your expenses
It’s important that you keep track of where your money is going as soon it goes into your bank account at the beginning of each month. Categorise expenses based on household, car, bills, entertainment, etc. This will make it much easier to find where a big chunk of money has been allocated to and monitor the category it is in. Therefore, make an effort on reducing expenses in that category as much as you can.
After knowing where your expenses go, you can now try to budget yourself by planning and limit yourself from unnecessary overspending. This way, you can compare your expenses and income and allocate a certain amount and set aside some emergency funds or expenses that occur regularly once every few months, such as car maintenance or breakdowns.
Once you have created a budget, you should roughly know how much you have spent in each month and can take out a certain amount to be put into your savings account. An ideal percentage is 10-15% of your gross income, whether it be little or a lot. If your expenses exceeds your limit and you find difficulty to even save 1% of your income, try cutting back on nonessentials such as dining out or spending on entertainment.
Set a goal
Having something to save for is also a type of motivation for you to save in the future. Whether short term goals like going on vacation or a pair of buying that brand new shoes you’ve always wanted, or long term goals like having enough down payment on a house, paying your children’s education, and even retirement. Setting a goal will make it significantly easier for you to save because it’s something that you will work hard towards and see it as being worth it in the end.
Figure out who and what your priorities are
Have a clear idea on why and what you’re saving for. Blindly saving money is good too, however you won’t have a clear motivation as to why you’re doing it in the first place and in the end you won’t have the feeling of accomplishment or satisfaction. Priorities may be considered a long term goal, or the main reason why you’re saving money in the first place. For example, growing your family and having more children will put you in desperate need of a larger space to raise your kids, so by saving up, you will be able to afford a down payment on a bigger house.