Do you know how most of the ways on how to start saving money used to sound to me?
“And they lived happily ever after.” That’s how.
I didn’t know how they ended up living happily ever after; I didn’t know what they did. All I had was just the result – they did it.
Do you feel the same way?
Then this article is for you.
Because it’s not your fault, you are not saving money (partially).
It’s a fact you don’t start from the very beginning.
Because saving money is just the result of a long chain of changes you do so you could get to the “and they saved happily ever after” or whatever…
-7 Things You Don’t Do At the Beginning of the Money Saving
If every single article starts with #1: open a savings account, then I must go with “-7” to fit into the standards.
Actually, it doesn’t matter what they say; I’ll do it my way.
These 7 steps will help you change your mindset before you learn how to start saving money. Because putting money aside with the mindset you already have didn’t work until now. It won’t work in the future either.
#1 Talk to Your Partner About It
You both want to save money?
How often do you talk about it though?
Once in a month? You mention it a few times a week?
It’s. Not. Enough.
If you plan your wedding, you will talk about it all day long every day, right?
When you plan a holiday, you sit down together and choose a destination, talk about dates, synchronize days off work, etc., right?
So why don’t you have the same approach to your money talk?
You were never taught you should do it, were you?
It never even cross your mind that although saving money is your goal and something you continuously think about, you never actually properly talk about it.
Let’s change it.
Find a day this week to dedicate to your first official money-talk. Choose a time when both of you are free and don’t have any appointments, so there is no rush to finish the conversation. Make yourselves coffee, get a pen and a notepad, and sit down.
Do You Think You Should Skip This Step If You Are Single? Think Again!
I know that if you are single, there’s no one to really talk about it with, right?
Well, of course, you have.
Deciding to physically sit down and map out your money-saving plan, why you need to do it, where to start, and how to change your mindset, is necessary. Especially if you are single.
Making plans is so important when you share your life with someone, but creating a plan for yourself is vital when you are single.
#2 Goal Setting
How much are you going to save? Write down the exact amount.
What are you going to save for? A holiday? Paying off your mortgage? College for the children? Retirement? Starting your own business? Moving somewhere else to live? List everything down. If it’s more than one reason – write the exact amount you plan to save.
Pin the list on your fridge, on your corkboard or anywhere you can see the numbers every day. Look at it as often as you can. In this way, you train your brain to attract ways to get to the destination (saving a specific amount of money).
#3 List All Of The Possible Ways To Save Money
Some people could save from smart grocery shopping. Some people already grocery shop smart and cannot save.
Others need to reduce their hobby expenses. But what if you don’t have a hobby?
You see, no article could give You the exact ways how to start saving money in Your home.
That’s something only You could know. The article’s goal is to highlight areas in your life with the opportunity to save.
List every possible way to reduce spending and increase money-making if possible.
Your list should have at least 5 points – there are at least 5 things in your life that eat money “you don’t have.” Find them and expose them.
#4 Choose 1 of Them To Start Immediately
Attacking all of the 5 or 15 points on your list will be a massive challenge for your mindset. Although it’s possible, it’s not something I would recommend you to do.
The best way is to choose 1 thing on the list and start working on this point right now.
Next week choose your #2 and the week after that – your #3. You get the point.
Adjusting your brain and life to your new way of living will be way easier if done step by step. The water makes a hole in the stone drop by drop, remember? Good things take time and dedication. Think about that for a while.
#5 Create a Vision Board
I bet you know a thing or two about the Law of Attraction.
Creating a vision board of your future life is a simple but powerful way to 1) motivate yourself and 2) have a clear vision of what the change looks like.
For example, my next financial goal is to save enough money for a holiday to a warm and sunny place. My partner and I love Tenerife, and we were there at the end of last year. We want to go again for a longer period of time.
Therefore, we created a vision board with photos of our last holiday there. We stuck shells on it, painted the background blue and white, wrote a few encouraging words, and hung it on the wall.
Can you guess what I see every time I enter the office I work from? It’s the vision board. It gives me so much motivation and inspires me to do more and more about my business, so I could get where I want to be.
What is your goal?
Find nice photos, print them out, and stick them on the board. Add leaflets, invitations, poems, or whatever helps you feel like what you want to happen is happening right now. Look at it at least twice a day and feel the feeling. Dream it. Smell it. Touch it. Save it.
#6 Evaluate Your Progress Every Day
Whatever way you chose to save money, evaluate the process. Constantly.
Before making a purchase ask yourself if it serves your goals? Will this item help you save money or it’s wasting it.
If you want your life to change for the better, you need to help it happen. Take decisions that serve your goal only! Be selfish about it. Do it like your life depend on it. ‘Cause it kind of does.
#7 If You Feel You Are Losing It… And Cannot Keep Up
It happens all the time.
You make plans, follow the steps, scrape money from here and there. You do your best.
Then, one morning, you wake up and realize you are completely lost in the process and didn’t do anything properly for the last three and a half weeks.
Start Again From #1
Do you remember back in school, when you were solving a math problem, and you couldn’t do it? My late grandmother was a math teacher. And I remember clearly that every time I’d get lost in the problem, she would tell me to go back to the beginning and do it all over again.
It works the same way with life.
Go back to #1 and sit down to have “The Talk”. Re-do every part of the process one more time. If you have to do it for the third time – do it. You will notice it gets easier and easier, and even though you are losing yourself somewhere in the process, every time you hold it for longer.
Every time you do more.
It gets easier and easier.
17 Ways To Start Saving Money
Ok, we did the -7 Ways to prepare ourselves for it, let’s list a few on how to start saving money in real life. As I said above, some of the points might not be for you. Others you might have already implemented. Whatever suits you – include it in your list of ideas.
#1 Merge Your Loans Into One
Instead of paying 5 small monthly payments on 5 different loans, choose to pay once a month. It will help you get control over your money, and it will reduce the interest you usually pay.
#2 Change or Bin Your Subscriptions
If you don’t have a list of all your monthly subscriptions – it’s time to make it. Review each one of them and cancel the ones you don’t need. Change the plan wherever that’s possible. Repeat the process every three months.
#3 Leave Your Cards at Home and Use Cash When Paying For Things
Leave your debit and credit cards at home. Keep cash on you and take as much as you need to cover the things on your shopping list. Repeat the process for every single shopping you do. It’s less likely to go home, get your cards, and go back to the shop for things you usually wouldn’t buy.
#4 Meal Plan
Meal Planning is a life-saving habit, let me tell you.
I have a friend who eats whatever he wants to eat every day and doesn’t plan for longer than 12 hours ahead. The result is: he goes to the grocery shop once a week and runs to the local shop every afternoon to get products for whatever he “craves to eat today.”
He throws away food because he doesn’t eat twice a meal but still cooks in large portions. This is a great example of how not to do meal planning.
Meal planning is checking what you already have and cook your first meal or two with leftovers from the last grocery shopping. Then writing down your meals for a week ahead, buying products you need in order to cook these meals, and stick to this. Every. Day.
#5 If You Didn’t Save For It, Don’t Buy It
As simple as that. Unless it’s a life-saving purchase (new 65′ TV is not a life-saving purchase) if you didn’t save money for it in advance and have to use your credit card or ignore another payment to buy the thing, don’t do it.
#6 Forget The Cinema, Go Netflix
Sooner or later almost every film goes on Netflix. It’s true it takes a while, but there are cheaper ways to watch films than running to the cinema every other week. If you do it twice a month and the average price per ticket is £10 per person it costs you £480 yearly to watch a film (if you are a family of two). That sounds like half the budget for a nice holiday or even half of the payment on one of your credit cards.
#7 Track Your Expenses
There are countless ways to track your expenses – in a notepad, Word Document, Application on your phone, etc. It’s unbelievable how many new things you could learn about your spending habits once you start tracking everything.
#8 Visit The Charity Shop First
Let’s say you really need to buy a new bedside cabinet, a wardrobe, or a book. Visit the charity shop. It saves you money and saves the planet.
#9 Forget About New Clothes
I know it’s hard. But it’s a necessity to rethink your spending habits on clothes. You already have what you need to be properly dressed. You don’t need 15 blue shirts, 10 pairs of trousers and 25 pairs of black shoes. You don’t. Every time you want to go and spend money on clothing, put the money in your savings account. It’s a smarter way to express your new mindset.
#10 Drink More Water
Instead of getting five bottles of coke, chose 10 bottles of water – it’s healthier and cheaper. When out with friends, get a glass of tap water every other time you go to the bar. It will reduce your alcohol intake and save you money.
#11 DIY the Gifts
DIY gifts are more personal and emotional to the receiver. Plus, putting together a basket with things “only the other will get” would be cheaper than buying something shiny and big.
#12 Forget the Takeaways
We used to order pizza at home at least once a month. The cheapest order for a pizza (buy one, get one free) is usually around £20. If we stick with the habit to order once a month, this would still cost us at least £240 per year. For pizza? That’s a full month of grocery shopping in our family. Hell, no!
#13 Prepare Your Food From Scratch
Do you know those trays with ready marinated food that you just need to place into the oven? They cost you a fortune in the long run. Instead of buying 4 pieces of marinated chicken breasts for £5 I would get £4 whole chicken and will cook at least 3 meals with it (a chicken soup, chicken with rice, and chicken with potatoes).
#14 Save the Coins
I talk more about this in my previous post. Saving the coins is a great way to put every small amount of money into one saving account. Every time you can. I used to zero down my account the day before I get paid. Even if that meant making a transfer of £4.16. It’s still money.
#15 Freeze Food
Food waste is a problem not only for your wallet but for the planet as a whole. The stores throw away enough food, and I don’t want to be part of that practice. I cook as much as I know we will be able to eat for a day or two. If something is about to go off, I freeze it. It often happens to shop veggies that I’ve bought at the beginning of the week and haven’t used it by the end of it. I chop them, bag them, and freeze them. I save the planet and save money at the same time.
#16 Walk To The Shop
It’s hard to drag five bags with products to your house, right? Therefore, a great way to restrict yourself from overspending on things is to walk to the shop every time you need a few things only.
#17 Save on Transportation
Partner with a colleague to go together to work and share the cost of petrol. Transportation is one of the biggest money-wasters wherever you live. Reducing the amount in half will do wonders for your money-saving plan.
If you liked this article on how to start saving money have a look around what else you might find useful to look into.