We’ve all been there. We’ve all had those moments when we realize we need to save money, but for some “strange” reason, we catch ourselves still spending money! Luckily, I’m here to share my 5 ways that work when it comes to developing your financial habits and stopping yourself from spending money.
Take a look at my 5 working methods of saving money that could work for you!
1) Unsubscribe from promotional e-mails.
Ever been in a situation when you declared a “spending ban” only to find yourself spending money the following day? Was it because you receive emails from your favourite stores telling you there’s a sale or there’s free shipping? Those two marketing schemes get everyone all the time! I can’t believe I’ve never thought about it before. Unsubscribe to all promotional emails from your favourite stores (and if these stores have loyalty rewards notifications, it won’t affect those). Unsubscribing from stores’ promotional emails will be the best thing ever for your wallet. Be sure to also tell cashiers not to sign you up for their promotional emails (it’s as easy as saying “no, thank you” when they ask for your email address at the till)!
2) Develop automatic savings transfers.
Out of sight, out of mind, right? Same works with your money! Get your bank to set up an automatic transfer every time you get paid and don’t touch it until you reach your saving goals! Because it’s automatic, you don’t have to think or worry about it, and most likely, you wouldn’t even see it in your bank account when it’s time for you to sit down and figure out your finances. Many times, this process is a manual task and believe it not, the likelihood of you saying “I’ll save this amount next month” is very high!
With some employers, you can also request how much of your paycheck is deposited into your primary bank account. For example, you can request your Payroll department to deposit 95% of your paycheck to your primary bank account, and the remaining 5% to your savings.
3) Develop a reward program for yourself.
This is a classic method! Simply write down your goals, and how you would reward yourself for achieving your goals. For example, if your goal is to get a 3.00 GPA at the end of the semester, write that down, along with the reward you want! Not only is this a great way to motivate you to achieve your goals, but you’re also practising willpower to not splurge right away. Not to mention, if your goal takes you a few months, you might not even be interested in the $1,000 phone you’ve been eyeing! I believe this is a win-win method for all.
4) Have budgets.
Budgeting is a long term financial habit to develop and master. It’s not the easiest method, but it’s also not the hardest to start doing it. It can look intimidating but trust me, it’s really not! I remember I used to avoid any tips and articles that mentioned a budget because it was just so overwhelming to start. Start with analyzing the last 3 months of your spending habits and create general categories (eg. Groceries, Self Care, Shopping, House Maintenance, Eating Out, Entertainment, etc). Once you’ve categorized your entries, add up all the line items that fall into that category and find the average spending of each category. From there, determine how much of a budget you would like to allocate per category. It’s important to be realistic! If your grocery bill averages $400 a month, don’t put a budget of $200. Put a budget of $400 OR $350 if you believe you can reduce your grocery bills a bit.
You need to ensure your budgets do not exceed your take-home monthly salary. You also want to ensure you have a cushion or leftover money to put away in savings.
5) Use the 24 or 48-hour rule.
We’ve all been there when we get caught up with a fad, only to realize it’s not what we wanted but missed out on the return window.
If your financial woes come from impulsive shopping, this is the rule you need to adapt in your life! It’s simple – wait 24 or 48 hours for purchases, if you’re still thinking about the item after 24/48 hours, then go ahead and purchase it. It may seem silly at first, but you’ll be surprised at how quickly you lose interest after just 24 hours!
There you have it! 5 working methods to help you start saving money. I used to be an impulsive shopper, living paycheck to paycheck and racking up mountains of credit card debts. Eventually, I found these habits to be the only one that works for me, and I’ve tried the classic ‘cash only method’. I hope these tips work for you, so let me know which method works best for you and which tip you’ll be adopting into your lifestyle!