You’ve probably heard it before. You should save, save, save. It’s something your mother has been telling you since birth, and your sinking savings account is currently reiterating it.
You have dreams, like most people, but don’t think you have the money to afford them.
Well, chances are, you do. But like most people, including me, saving seems like a time-consuming task that could be better left alone.
I had the same thoughts, too, until I realized that if I didn’t save money, I would never be able to see the world.
If I kept spending money on things like beer, which I dearly love, all of the time, I probably would never see the coastlines of the world.
And then it hit me: Why not just take money out of my paychecks? I wouldn’t notice it anyway, and even if I did, there would be nothing I could do at that point.
I also realized that I didn’t make enough to be saving so much money per week.
When I looked at what I had been spending money on, I realized that if I forced myself to save money every week, I would have to get smarter with money instead of just hoping I was doing the right thing.
I’m not a financial advisor and I don’t make boatloads of money, but what I can say is everything I have been doing has been working well so far.
Here are some of the steps I took:
1. Find the right (money) balance.
You don’t have to sit around and analyze what you're spending money on. Ain’t nobody got time for that! There are apps for that!
Once I started using an app that was telling me where my money was going, I realized my drinking habits really needed to be cut back.
Once I figured out how much I was spending, I could realize how much I could save.
Once you find the right amount, it adds up quickly! After a few months, I realized I already saved a couple thousand dollars! That’s a lot of beer!
2. Get a highly secured savings account.
By highly secured, I don’t mean one that requires a password and a hundred other questions you have to answer to get into the account. That’s just an annoying bank account.
Rather, get an account that either takes a long time to transfer money or isn’t close to where you live.
I have both of these and it is seriously a pain to withdraw from, which is a blessing in disguise.
I realize that I probably don’t need to withdraw money, and it ends up sitting there. If you don’t have easy access, you’re not going to spend it.
3. Eat and drink intelligently.
On top of saving money every week, I noticed I was spending a lot of money drinking and a lot of money eating at restaurants.
I learned to cook better and how to cook for a couple meals. Anyone who says he or she doesn't have time to cook needs to get a crockpot.
I also realized that I would spend a lot of money at bars, bars that really didn’t have good alcohol anyway. As I like to say, once in college, always in college.
For me, it’s cheaper to pregame before I go out instead of spending three times as much on alcohol I wouldn’t even buy for myself at home.
4. Set a scary time frame.
By scary, I mean take some risks.
For traveling, I like to book flights and then work and save my butt off to make sure I have enough when I am abroad.
I know this sounds really risky, but if I try to save all the money ahead of time, I get discouraged by the fact that I never know when I may leave the country again.
If I book a flight on a whim, I know exactly how much time I have and if I don't get it together by then, I will be starving abroad.
This can apply to anything. Make a risky purchase to further speed up your savings.
5. Don’t buy material things.
Anyone who knows me knows I don’t own a lot of things. I own a lot of photos from traveling, but I don’t own a car, a TV or barely any furniture.
This is because I’m saving all of my time and money for what I’m really looking forward to: A stamp on my passport.
Each time I think of buying something I don’t need, I have to remind myself that I have future plans.
Even if you are saving for something materialistic, like a TV, keep yourself from buying other things, like a new car, until you get the one item you are saving for.
It doesn’t matter how much money you make; everyone can save something.
Finding the right balance and time will help you reach the goals you’ve had for such a long time.