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In todays day and age, saving money can be quite a difficult thing to do. There is so much choice and availability of goods around us, and so many expenses to pay for, by the end of the month there is no money left. Statistics show this to be the case too, with 65% of Americans not knowing exactly how much is spent every month.
In addition to this, life is very busy, and not many people have time to sit down and sort through their finances in an attempt to create a budget. But saving is incredibly important, for your wallet and for your mental wellbeing. Not along does it allow you to reach a goal that you may have, it helps to ensure that when there is an emergency you are covered.
Even though it is difficult, there are a few simple things you can do to pave the way towards financial freedom. Please note this is just the first steps, if you’re looking for more in depth information my favorite resource is Crediful, they provide actionable guides to help you achieve financial freedom.
Here is the Guideline
Make not saving not an option
Having a savings account and contributing to it is one of the most important things that you can do, but getting money into the savings account is the challenge. It is a great relief to know that in the event of an emergency, you are covered. This can range from anything like a car accident, your dog eating something they shouldn’t have or a window breaking. But how do you get money into your savings account?
The easiest way to do this is to allocate a certain percentage of your salary every month towards this goal, and then depositing it. If you count it as one of your expenses, you will hardly notice that it is gone. Another ideal solution is to set that allocated amount to be deposited into your savings account automatically, therefore making it very hard not to save that money.
In addition to this, consider creating withdrawal restrictions such as a 30-day waiting period, unless it’s an emergency, to prevent yourself from unnecessarily dipping into it. Depositing to savings at the beginning of each month, before you spend any of your salary, will help tremendously into it becoming a habit.
Review your expenses
As mentioned, most people don’t actually look at their expenses, and as a result, they don’t really know where their money goes. This is why regularly reviewing your expenses is a relatively easy solution to saving more money. Expenses can be placed into two groups: fixed and variable expenses.
Fixed expenses are things that you need to pay each month that don’t change, such as rent, internet lines or a contract for a mobile device. The second is variable expenses, which are things that you buy that fluctuate and change each month. Take a look at the fixed expenses you have and try to find those that can be changed, for example, a cheaper internet provider that offers the same speeds. By knowing your variable expenses, you are given the opportunity to change your spending habits.
A great tip when dealing with variable expenses is to use a 30-day rule when handling larger purchases. If you can wait 30 days before buying it, you can decide if you really need it or if it was an impulsive thought.
Ask for a raise
One of the biggest complaints that many people have is that their salary is not high enough. Upon further inspection, it is most likely due to the fact that they have never asked for a raise. This step requires no effort, other than bringing the topic up with your boss, which is admittedly a difficult thing to do.
However, if you know that your performance has been really good over the last year, then have confidence in knowing that you deserve a raise. If you are unsure of how much to ask for, then it might be a good idea to do some research. There is plenty of information freely available on the internet related to the average salary of different occupations. Before asking for a raise, research this information to have a better understanding of what your work is worth.
Alternatively, most jobs match your contributions to your retirement savings, and if your job does, then it would be highly beneficial in the long run to contribute as much as you can if your employers matching benefit has not reached its limit yet.