Wages are stagnating, and the cost of living is soaring. Should you start stockpiling supplies in preparation for an economic collapse? Maybe, or you could reign in your spending a little and enjoy the benefits of saving money. Saving money can be tricky depending on your situation, but with these simple tips an one can go from broke to having hope.
It’s easy to get caught up in “the now” playing catch up to social media stars is expensive as it is pointless. You don’t need the latest iPhone 11, the latest wireless headphones, or lavish hotel visits. Finding true happiness is the key to saving money, but I digress.
Budget Budget Budget
The first step to saving money is knowing what you are working with. How much rent do you pay? What’s the frequency? How much is your average electricity bill? Creating a budget will paint a clear picture of your finances. A budget can identify areas of weakness that may have been glossed over during the week.
Stick with what you have
In this modern world of fast food, fast fashion, and fast-changing trends, its almost impossible to keep up. Sending your self into bankruptcy to impress strangers online seems ridiculous, but it’s rampant, and it needs to stop. Why do we play catch up to these digital approximations of people? These people aren’t our friends or family, and almost everything about them is fake.
If you want to save money, stick with what you have. That iPhone might be three generations old, but does it work? You don’t need the latest iPhone, the latest headphones, the latest laptop. Save your money and earn your next upgrade. Appreciating what you have and sticking with it will deepen your understanding of your possessions and make you appreciate upgrades more in the future.
Do it your self
Instant gratification ruins everything. At our fingertips is a dizzying array of information and quick fixes. Having what we want exactly when we want it hurts our minds and can stunt our sense of fulfillment. One up the side of this constant connection is the vast stores of human knowledge available for free.
Why not put this knowledge to good use? There are guides for doing almost anything yourself online, so why not save some money and do it yourself? Doing things your self not only saves cash in the short term but builds real skills that are invaluable. Who knows, maybe your time spent fixing your own bike can translate into being paid by others to do the same repairs on their bikes. Saving money becomes making money, and the cycle continues.
Your budget should identify areas where you are spending too much or not enough. Find all nonessential expenses and substitute them for more beneficial activities and hobbies. A Netflix subscription is around $15 a month, this might not sound like a huge deal, but it adds up over a year. Instead of renewing your Netflix subscription, why not substitute for a gym membership instead?
Making healthy switches will keep you happy and long-lived, but can also save you a bundle of cash. Substitute fast food with home-cooked meals, coffee with tea, and alcohol with literally anything else. For the price of a large quarter pounder meal, you can buy a week’s worth of healthy groceries to cook at home, it might not sound glamorous or fun, but neither is being poor or in debt.
Have a reason
Surely the reason for saving money is to have more money? If your reasoning for tightening your belt and saving money is to have more money, then you may be beating your head against a wall. Saving money takes grit, and without a goal, it becomes even harder.
Good reasons to save money may be to rid your self of debt or plan for a big expense looming in the future. Saving money for the sake of it is wonderful, but so much easier with a goal in mind.
Saving money might seem uncool, but the alternative is decidedly less cool. Reigning in your expenses and building the self-discipline required to stick to a plan is a valuable lesson in itself, with the bonus of having more money.
In the face of fast fashion and fast money, its easy to be disheartened by a life you will never live. This bombardment of luxurious lifestyles on our phone screens is the great crisis of our times. The gap between the haves and the have-nots widens every day, where money is seen as an indication of your self-worth.
Don’t be afraid to look after yourself and your finances. Reject this superfluous money-hungry culture and start building a real life for yourself with a consistent savings habit, you will thank yourself later.