If you have ever had a financial emergency that you weren’t prepared for, such as your car breaking down, or an unexpected medical bill, you probably wished that you would have had some money set aside. Or maybe, there has been something that you have wanted to purchase for a long time, such as a home, new car or vacation, but you never seem to be able to set aside enough money. Saving money isn’t easy, and it doesn’t necessarily pay off right away, but it is always worth it in the long run. Here are a few steps to help you get started.
1. ACQUIRE A $1000 EMERGENCY FUND ASAP
Life brings unexpected events, and it’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. It’s extremely important to have an emergency fund in place so that you can face those unexpected challenges head-on, and not have to worry about where the money is going to come from. You may want your emergency fund to contain more money than this, such as a couple of months worth of expenses in case something happens to your main source of income, but if you are just getting started, $1000 is a great place to start. This may seem like a lot to set aside quickly, but try to get some extra hours at work and cut back on anything unnecessary for a few months, and you will have it saved in no time!
2. SET A MONTHLY BUDGET
Personal saving isn’t just about having a balance in your savings account, it’s about saving on everyday expenses. You will be amazed to find out how much money can be saved each month just by cutting out the things that are unnecessary. Whether it’s choosing to cut back on eating out, Starbucks, or online shopping, be purposeful in finding ways to save your money. One of the best ways to do this is to set up a monthly budget and stick to it. This will require a little bit of work and a lot of self-control, but the more that you get used to following a budget, the more control you will have of your finances.
3. SETUP A MONTHLY SAVINGS PLAN
Think of your personal savings as a bill that is due every month. Decide how much you would like to save each month and set a due date for yourself. Be sure to have the amount put in your savings account by the due date, and then leave it alone! If something comes up, use your emergency fund. Warren Buffet said, “Do not save what is left after spending, but spend what is left after saving.” Before you know it, you will be in the habit of setting aside personal savings each month, and you will be able to take pride in your financial responsibility!
There’s an old saying that goes, “Rich people stay rich by living like they’re broke. Broke people stay broke by living like they’re rich.” Saving might seem like a lot of work, but it’s important to remember that even though you may have to make some sacrifices now, your future self will be thanking you!
Wonderful article. Simple and concise. I prefer clarity such as this to all the finance books which always come back, after 100+ pages of reading, to these same, foundational, points on saving money. Thank you!