This article is basically a list of suggestions which offers three stages of savings. If you are moving step-by-step from one to another, the process of saving money will not appear to you as something scary or harmful. It will be better to do it gradually, start the next step when the previous one is close to becoming a habit. This way, you will feel more comfortable, will not need to abruptly stop all the financial leaks and count every cent, but instead will realize that some extra expenses are unneeded and can be easily avoided.
1. Write down all of your spendings. Create a special notebook for this or just use your smartphone. Be attentive and write there everything with details. Not like that: "$5 – ice cream, $20 – buses and stuff, $50 – no idea where". Be clear and distinct with your expenses. A few days later you will be impressed by the amount of money you spent for nothing.
2. Put small change into the money-box. We are used to get small change after buying something in supermarkets. Most of the time we just put it into the pocket and forget about it. That is why it will be handy to develop a habit to fill your money-box with a change every evening when you come home.
3. Pay with cash. We are more used to pay with a credit card because it is more comfortable and faster. However, historically people do not perceive cards as money, and neither do you. That is why we are more likely to spend more money than we were hoping just because we ca not see and feel the bills in our hands. Try to always have some cash with you to avoid paying with your card, and it will be better if you do not carry large sums, only the amount you think will be enough for a few days. One more thing about paying with cash: once you start feeling that the money is disappearing more often than you expected, you will not think that getting an extra can of soda water is a good idea.
4. Make lists. What do I need to buy? What has finished? Formulate everything clear and write it down on the sheet of paper or in your smartphone. Go to the supermarkets with such list and do not buy anything extra just by a sudden wish. Supermarkets are designed in a way to make the customer get more and therefore, pay more. Be smart, do not let them get you.
1. Fill your fridge when you are full. It is necessary to eat before going to the supermarket or just for a walk. That is because when you are hungry, you may buy twice as much as you can eat. As a result, you have wasted your money on something you did not even feel like eating at the first place.
2. Buy monthly tickets for transport. It is rather profitable and may significantly save your money. Also, when the weather is nice you may take a walk instead of a bus, and it is not the money issue anymore. Walks are good for our health and our mindset, they help us relax. Also, you will need to plan your time accordingly to have some extra minutes for getting to the destination point on foot.
3. Do not borrow and do not lend money. Learn to live only for that amount of money which you earn every month (from your parents, as a grant or from your part-time job). Plan your spendings. If you want to buy something big and expensive then wait till you have enough savings. If someone asks you to lend them money then learn to say "no". Otherwise it will destroy your plan.
1. Quit smoking and other bad habits. Refuse not only drinking alcohol and smoking but also eating too much sweets. An apple costs less than a chocolate bar and it is also healthier. It is useful for your wallet and for your body. There are so many pro-healthy lifestyle blog posts and videos on YouTube that can inspire you to make quick bites by yourself. This can be so much fun! Take a bite of a self-made granola bar instead of having a smoke or biting into piece of chocolate.
2. Try the system "50+20+30". Using this system you will divide your money into 3 parts: 50% are necessary spendings. They are for transport, food, cell operator, and other stuff like this. 20% is the money which you will save every month. 30% are so-called flexible spendings. It means the money which you will spend for everything you want which is not necessary. For example, for cinema tickets, for cafes, travels and so on. The unused part can go the savings.
Nevertheless, in every thought-through financial plan may appear unpredictable expenses. These are holidays, celebrations of your family members’ and friends’ birthdays. Do not turn yourself into the robot just to follow your plan. If you think about it, the people we love are more important than money, are they not?