While saving money from my salary ranks top on my to-do list, the challenge has always been how to do it while meeting my basic needs, accomplishing other financial needs, or repaying my secured loans. However, after review, I have come across the following helpful tips.
One avenue where I can get some money for saving is to free up extra cash in my paycheck by keeping a good budget. After settling my bills and sparing a few coins for personal entertainment, the rest of the money will go to my savings account. For instance, I have realized that I spend a lot of money on food because I like dining out. I’ll thus have to adjust and start cooking most of the meals at home. Another adjustment will be on reduction of my utility bills, and unsubscribing from services that I don’t need.
A careful analysis of my paycheck to see how much I take home will give me a figure that I need to work with. This is the balance after my employer has taken out taxes, insurance, and any other statutory deductions. After the breakdown, an easy way to increase my savings would be to notch up my contributions to the savings scheme. My target is to save enough of my salary to reach the full employee match as it stands in my retirement plan.
Another consideration on my list is making my debts less expensive, and I may have to explore ways like refinancing student loans to get a lower rate. With a reduced monthly repayment rate, I’ll have more money to include in my savings budget. Alternatively, I can get a new card with a zero percent introductory promotional rate and transfer my high-interest credit card debt to it.
Sticking to a particular routine consistently comes in handy when making savings. Instead of depositing what I want to save each month directly to the bank, I will keep it in my safe at home. After a month or two of keeping it in my box, I will assess if I ever dipped my hand into the safe for personal use. If I used part of the cash for whatever reason, I will have to sit and evaluate the reasons. It could be due to emergencies or poor planning. I will then transfer the money to my savings account.
Once I know the estimated cost of my monthly bills and expenses, then it becomes easier for me to know how much I should set aside for saving. One way to achieve this is to give my standing order to the bank such that money from my paycheck goes straight into the savings account every month. But if my employer doesn’t offer direct deposits, then I will have to initiate an automatic savings transfer every time I’m paid. All that is required is setting the amount and frequency.
The amount of money that I intend to save will depend on the total paycheck and my expenses, particularly if there’s any loan that I’m servicing. Additionally, I will try and adhere to the 50/30/20 rule where I will dedicate 50% of my income to cater for my essential expenses every month, spend 30%, and then the remaining 20% goes to my savings account. I will run the numbers through a simple calculator to get the figures right.
From the above tips, it’s clear that I can establish a regular savings habit. And as I save, I will define my goals on what I want to do with those savings.