The end of the year is approaching and with it an excellent time to analyze your financial house and see what changes you’d like to make for the upcoming year. For some this might mean examining their spending for ways to save money. With a few tips you can be on the road to saving money and improving your financial health.
A Budget Can Be a Great Tool to Help You Save
For many, the word “budget” has negative connotations. For some it means not being able to spend money freely or being tied to something that’s not practical. I know that’s how I used to view budgeting, but it could not be farther from the truth. Having a budget allows you to see what money you have coming in and where it’s going. If you do it correctly, a budget will show you areas where you’re spending too much money and ways that you can convert that over-spending into saving.
Track Your Expenses
Tracking your expenses is really a part of the budgeting process, but you can further define where your money is going when you track your expenses. What I am referring to here is keeping track of every cent you spend. I know it sounds tedious, but it can be done. If you have a smart phone, you can easily record spending when you’re on the go with handy apps. If you don’t have that option simply keep receipts and record them on a piece of paper or a spreadsheet each day. This practice will truly help you see where each cent is going and ways you can cut down.
Automate Your Saving
I was introduced to this practice years ago. Many banks today will allow you to electronically move money into a savings account at no cost. You can do this weekly, monthly, etc. I have mine set to transfer money over twice a month and I don’t have to do anything. This allows me to save automatically without feeling the money coming out of my account.
Having a Goal For Your Saving
We’re a goal driven society. There are few things as satisfying as reaching a goal. Use a goal to help your saving. I like to have both short and long term goals as it drives me to save money. Do you want to go on vacation next year or buy a car? Would you like to be able to eat out twice a month? Use saving as a way to make those things possible.
Saving Money Is a Discipline
Saving money can be difficult for many; I know it was for me in the past. Don’t allow that to be an excuse or hold you back. Maybe you can only afford to save $50 per month. That’s great, start with that! As time goes on, you’ll hopefully be able to save more money, but take hold of the discipline of saving until it becomes a habit and it will become second nature for you.
Saving money can be difficult, especially in today’s economy; however, even small changes in your spending habits can help you reach saving goals. What’s your favorite way to save money?
Image Christin_Schucker / flickr
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