What’s MONEY? Well, the dictionary of Oxford says “ Money is a current medium of exchange in the form of coins and banknotes; coins and banknotes collectively “. But if you ask me, money is something that holds more importance than water these days. If you have money you have everything and when you don’t have it you tend to lose a lot that’s why it’s getting important to control spending habits and save money.
In today’s scenario, each and every person is running after earning more and more money but we often fail to realize that just earning money is not all. I know some people may find it a little old school as youth today live in the moment. You can find so many articles about how to be rich? How to become a millionaire? But does anyone of you ever searched that how could we save money?
Have you ever started off the month with the best of intentions to save money- buying only what you need, steering clear of sales displays, and trying to watch your spending? And then, despite your best efforts, it just seems to happen. Before you know it, you’ve spent more money than you wanted to. Don’t beat yourself up, it happens to many of us.
But, first, one really needs to know and understand that what “triggers spending”. In many cases spending money has to do emotional and psychological triggers. If you remove those triggers, you’ll remove the temptation and opportunity to overspend.
#1. SAVE ALL YOUR PENNIES
As a child, I made plenty of money. Whenever a tooth fell out, during birthdays and festivals. All this wealth was dutifully saved at home in my piggy bank and would be alarmed by how much I had managed to put away. I was actively saving money when I was young.
The thought of piggy bank to a grown-up almost seems pointless. How much can you really save from a container full of coins shaped as a pig? While you may not become a millionaire off of piggy bank savings, you will definitely save more than you currently have. Instead of keeping the coins in a compartment in your car, dump them all in your piggy bank. Then once it’s full, convert the coins to bills and put it in your savings account.
Find all your lost coins. First, you need to identify the places you are most likely to find some loose change. Occasionally turning out trousers, checking at the bottom of handbags, purses or wallets and even emptying the various compartments in your car should turn up coins.
Another way you can save pennies is not to spend them. Whenever you are shopping or paying for a good or service, use the money that is in note form.
#2. USE ATMs SPARINGLY AND NOT CARRYING WITH YOU
In today’s digital India, each one of us tends to possess an ATM card. Thus, spending more in comparison to hard cash. Therefore, one needs to be smart about the ATM trips. Try withdrawing a set amount each week and sticking to it to analyze spendings. To stay organized, you can divide cash into envelopes-not just an app with categories like “food”, “ rent”, and “fun”. When an envelope goes empty, it’s time to stop spending in that section. Paying with cash will also feel more “real” than using a plastic card.
#3 BUDGET TRACKING APP TO CONTROL SPENDING HABITS
If you’re like most people, you check your smartphone at least 50 times a day – looking at everything from text messages and work emails to weather alerts and sports scores. But as many have discovered your smartphone can help you keep tabs on your finances.
Managing money, sticking to a budget and even handling investment decisions are easier than ever before with today’s crop of personal finance apps for instance- Mint, You Need A Budget, Wally and many more.
The first step toward getting some insight into your spending habits. You need to understand what you can afford to spend funds on, and then monitor your spending in real time. This is what a budget tracking app does for you…and guess what? It’s free!
#4 THINK LIKE A STYLIST
Thinking like a stylist doesn’t mean that you need to design your own clothes, on the contrary, it means that one should be judgemental and picky while doing one’s shopping. The most important way to save money is to stop doing any kind of binge shopping. One should avoid the impulse.
Write a list before you go shopping and stick to it. Go through your closet and find anything and everything you no longer use. Then don’t just get rid of it, use it to your benefit. You can have a yard sale or sell it on multiple online portals at your convenience. If you have a regular urge to buy clothes, go through everything that you have and see what you might find. Take the clothes from the back of the closet and bring them to the front, and suddenly your wardrobe will feel completely different.
You’ll feel like a brand new person who doesn’t need to spend money on clothes right now and help control spending habits.
#5 LEAVE YOUR WALLET HOME
When you head out to the mall or the grocery store, take only the amount of cash you anticipate you’ll need and leave your credit and debit cards at home. Unless you know for certain you were going to buy something using the card and you have a plan to pay it off, there is no need to take your cards with you. By doing this, you avoid the temptation of using the card for a spur of the moment purchase, which is often the fastest way to find yourself in debt.
#6 ABIDE BY THE 30 DAY RULE
It is a simple method to control impulse spending. Here’s how it works: whenever you feel the urge to splurge- whether it’s for new shoes, new video games or a new car- force yourself to stop. If you are already holding the item, put it back.
Avoiding instant gratification is one of the most important rules of personal finance, and waiting 30 days to decide on a purchase is an excellent way to implement that rule.
Quite often, after the month has passed you’ll find that the urge to buy has passed as well, and you’ll have saved yourself some money simply by waiting.
#7 MASTER THE 10-SECOND RULE BEFORE A PURCHASE
Whenever you pick up an item and add it to your cart or take it to the Checkout, stop for 10 seconds and ask yourself why you’re buying it and whether you actually need it or not. If you can’t find a good answer, put the item back. This keeps me from making impulse buys on a regular basis and control spending habits.
Learning how to stop spending money is hard, but it is possible.
It takes time and dedication to control spending habits and to reform your spending habits, every now and then urge to swipe your card will turn the ugly head. This happens to all of us, no one can completely control spending habits overnight. Once you know how to save money and you set some goals, in time you’ll become a savvy consumer who knows how to save money to use it wisely.