We face our fixed problems every month: paying up loans, mortgages, utilities, and getting our groceries. There are even more expenses if you are a member of a lot of subscription services such as gym, streaming services, and more. With a lot of expenses and a very limited budget, you always try to ignore putting an effort in your savings account. After all, your priorities are not saving, but to make sure that all your obligations for the current month are all paid.
Although paying current obligations are the right things to do, you should also be putting an effort into filling your savings account. According to CNBC, most Americans would be in a very tough situation if they missed their paycheck even once. There is also just 40% of Americans who could pay an unexpected $1,000 expense. One of the most important things to do to become more financially secure is to save money for the future. Here are the reasons why saving money is important in achieving your financial goals. And later on, 15 of the most effective saving habits will be featured in this article.
The Importance Of Saving Money In Achieving Financial Goals
One of the biggest reasons why saving money is important is because of the fact that the only thing certain in this world is uncertainty. in order to achieve our financial goals, we must first have what is called an Emergency buffer, which helps us live and pays expenses in a few months after an uncertain thing happened. it can be an accident or an unexpected lay-off. Either way, having an emergency buffer will help you reach your financial goals in the long run.
In addition, you really never know when another financial crisis will happen again in the future. Recessions and depressions are never-ending cycles and everyone should be prepared for it. And last but not least, is saving for retirement. A lot of people disregards saving a portion of their und because of the mindset that it is still “very early” to think about retirement, especially millennials. After all, building your career and experiencing the world comes first.
15 Habits of A Smart Saver
Saving is a lot harder than spendings, as it involves more sacrifices and less fun. Cutting down or modifying habits can help to make saving a lot easier than expected. Here are the 15 habits that promote smart saving.
1. Allocates A Portion Of The Fund In SavingsThis is one of the most important habits of becoming a smart saver. You don’t have to skip saving each month if it is already allocated in your budget. By including savings in the budget, you don’t have to just save “whatever that’s left”. To make this even more effective, set up automatic fund transfer to your savings account so you don’t have to set it up manually each month.
2. Not Afraid In Using Credit Cards (And Loans, In Particular)Using a credit card or having a load seems to be something that hinders in saving money. However, if you can properly use loans to your advantage, it is one of the most powerful tools to reach your financial goal. Don’t use your credit card for long-term loans as defaulting one payment could mean interests snowballing in your bank account.
3. Tracks Expenses From The Biggest To SmallestYou need to be honest to yourself about where your money goes. You might also develop a habit of justifying an impulse buy when you try to track your expenses. However, this is important to track your spending habits and know where you can cut your expenses or allocate more money to one of your needs.
4. Making A Budget And Sticking With ItMaking a budget is one of the easiest parts of having a financial goal. You can do it in 10 minutes if you really put your focus into it. The hardest part is actually following your plan and sticking with it until the end of the month. Request help from your friends and family if you have to.
5. Have A Short-Term And Long-Term Financial GoalsShort-term financial goals (monthly budgets, weekly budgets) are as important as your long-term financial goal. Although there are times when things are not going according to plan, when it comes to financial matters, planning is essential. Without one, you won’t be able to reach your other goals (e.g. big purchases, vacation, more).
6. Saving Through PurchasingYes, this sounds counterintuitive, but you can actually save by purchasing. There are a lot of companies who offer cashbacks if you shop your necessities with them. However, it is worthy to note that buying things for the sake of cash backs are still unnecessary spending. The goal here is to earn cash back while purchasing on the things that you actually need.
7. Review All Billing StatementsThis is a part of effectively tracking your expenses. Always review your billing statements each month, as it can help you learn where you spend too much and where you can cut off on expenses.
8. Avoid Stores When Not Buying A NeedYes, even window shopping is not allowed for this, and for a good reason. This is because even though you’re just window shopping, you will likely incur some expenses in your stay at the mall or stores. An example is fairs, food, and other expenses.
9. Save In Water, Electricity, And GasIf you really need to cut expenses, this is where you can juice out more savings. By limiting your water. electricity and gas consumption, you will be able to take more money in savings or in other things. Two of the easiest habits in saving money through utility is by conserving water, turning off electricity-consuming devices when not in use, and use natural ways to cool down or warm up.
10. Cooks Food At HomeWhen you prepare food by bulk, its cost per serving gets way cheaper than making small batches. It is also way cheaper than ordering a pizza or eating out in your local restaurant. Not to mention that home-cooked food is healthier and tastier too.
11. Have A Weekly Meal Plan. In order to make the previous item work, you should have a weekly meal plan and learn how to store food in batches. This will not only allow for cheaper food, but it will also save you time by reheating the batches and serving it. This is helpful if you want to live frugally or if you have a lot of family members.
12. Use Coupons ProperlyBuying for the sake of using coupon codes is one of the most dangerous things when saving. You might think that it would be such a waste if you don’t use a coupon if it expires. However, it is more wasteful if you buy something you currently don’t need because of a coupon.
13. Don’t Use A CarThere are actually times when having a car is very convenient, like driving to work or if you have family outings. In reality, the cause of owning a car is very expensive and is resource draining. If there’s a lot of cheaper alternatives like commuting, you should consider it instead of owning a car.
14. Save “Easy Money” Bonuses, free money (random cash in the ground), or any form of “easy money” might be easier to spend because you didn’t really work for it. But money is still money, so instead of spending unnecessarily, saving it would be the more logical decision.
15. Always Have A Plan DPlans fail, right? Your emergency cushion might not be enough to cover your expenses. There are also chances that you miscalculated your needed budget and you need to make up for it. Always have a plan D when it comes to finances because you don’t know what could happen every day.