How To Save Money - The Basics
We encourage everyone to read this article, no matter how proficient you think you are at saving money. You won't regret it.
Through our time of struggling financially in the early years, we have become proficient at saving and growing money over time.
Those who are 25 and older have learned that saving and growing money depends on two things - how much money you have coming in the door and how much money you have going back out. The biggest influence on this leftover amount is how much money you spend on fast food, partying, Amazon packages, and other unnecessary indulgences.
In order for us to ensure an easy-to-live future, we must first ensure that we have a positive cash flow every month. In order to maximize our cash flow every month, we have to do what we can to make more money while doing what we can to not waste money on pointless things.
Keep in mind that this is one part of a multiple part article. In this article, we will be deep-diving into the the first necessary steps to start saving money. In the Richest Man of Babylon, the first tip to saving money is to put away 10% of the money you make, because people usually spend that on things they don't need.
Here are 14 steps that will help you change your spending habits in 30 days:
Analyze your expenses over the last 30 days that you paid. You can do this on your banking website.
Write down your expenses, and next to each item, write down an explanation of why you decided to make this purchase. Consider and plan alternatives for each purchase.
For each purchase, ask yourself "Is there a way that I can avoid paying for this?" Write down things that you could do instead.
For each purchase, ask yourself "Is there a way I can save money on this expense?" Write down every idea you think of.
On your banking website, there is a place where you can view reoccurring expenses. This is usually found in your bank's "money map" tool. You can use a search engine to determine how to do this (search "how to track reoccurring expenses [bank name]").
Repeat steps 2-5 for any reoccurring expenses. Reoccurring expenses are way more expensive over time, because they cause us to spend money without us realizing it.
Start a new page. In the previous steps, we brainstormed ways to limit expenses based on what we saw. Now we are going to write out a formal plan. First, write down any temptations that cause you to spend money. Write down what you believe tempts you to do these things. Write down several alternatives on what you can do instead of spending money on these temptations.
Go back to your previous notes. Write down the other things that cause you to spend money and what you can do to avoid them.
Read your formal plan. When you are done reading, hold the paper in your hand and say out loud "Starting now, I will fully commit to this plan. There are no excuses for mistakes or slip-ups. If I make a mistake, I will not hold it against myself. Instead, I will ask myself what went wrong, and I will correct it. I will add or change this plan if I notice any unnecessary expenses."
PUT IT INTO ACTION!
Follow your plan, and live by it for the next 30 days! The goal is to only buy things you cannot live without. I find it helps to visualize this to an extreme level. For me, I pretend that I'm going to get evicted in 30 days if I don't save every dollar I have.
During these 30 days, resist all temptation to spend money.
Start looking for ways that you can make money on top of what you're doing. I'm not asking you to start pursuing anything. Just keep an open mind about making money. Think about it in everyday situations. Think about the opportunities that you can benefit from, and how you can use your resources to your advantage.
At the end of the 30 days, DON'T TOUCH THAT MONEY! Put it somewhere special (like a separate account) if it keeps you from touching it. By this time, you will have developed these skills as habits. Keep doing them, and don't lose them!
These steps derive from the ancient clay tablets of Babylon into a modernized format capable of helping anyone make the most out of their income. These steps serve as a great turning point for anyone who finds it tough to hold money for future purposes. This is a subject we have been asked about extensively, so we will be expanding this series into multiple articles that address what everyone should know about finances.