The journey to mastering your money starts with the first step – smart saving. Take those baby steps today with these simple practices.
A penny saved is a penny earned as the saying goes. However, if this is easier said than done for you, here are a few easy ways to start taking those baby steps towards building your savings this year.
If you’re someone who is regularly turning out your bare pockets towards the end of every month and eagerly awaiting a fresh infusion of cash in the form of your salary pay cheque, then you’re likely familiar with the struggle to build your financial savings.
While there are countless ways and tied-and-tested methods to grow your savings, the smallest changes are often the easiest and most effective to adopt. Here are a few easy hacks to have you well on your way to bolstering those savings!
Meal prep (would you believe it?)
While the kitchen may sound like an unlikely place to start your financial savings journey, it is the place where a lot of your money would be spent – groceries, cooking gas or even ordering food for home delivery. When you plan your meals, you can cut down on unnecessary purchases by buying exactly what groceries you need. Meal planning and prep can help you save both cash and time.
Better meal planning would also mean you can avoid impulsively ordering a meal or eating out because you suddenly discovered that your refrigerator was an empty and soulless place where a few wrinkled veggies went to die.
Additional Reading: Best Credit Cards For Grocery Shopping
Cancel unused subscriptions
Remember that online fitness programme you impulsively signed up for because your pants didn’t quite fit anymore? Remember enthusiastically agreeing to the “Automatically Renew My Subscription” pop-up? Sure, it may have seemed like a good idea and a steal of a deal at the time, but your double chin now belies your fitness resolution. Even seemingly small monthly payments can add up in the long run.
Carefully audit all your subscriptions – mobile apps, publications, OTT services, DTH, gym memberships, salon memberships – and ensure that you’re only paying for what you use. As a bonus, sometimes, when you attempt to cancel, you may be offered a lower rate for a limited time.
Set yourself a no-spend challenge
Hey, big spender! Whether you’re looking to just rein in your spending, pay off debts quickly or try saving a little extra, why not set yourself the challenge of spending on nothing this week (apart from the essentials)? If a week is too simple, try a fortnight or a month.
Deleting online shopping apps will help curb those impulse purchases of clothes you don’t end up wearing or tacky décor items for the house. You’ll be surprised how quickly these little savings start to add up, restoring some semblance of dignity to your bank balance.
Create a rainy day fund
Setting up an emergency fund will provide you with a comfortable cushion when the hard times come knocking – and they will. If you’re a salaried individual, a contingency fund equal to six months of your salary may be sufficient. If you don’t have a regular income or live with dependents, then your SOS fund should probably cover your expenses for at least a year.
Your emergency fund should provide instant liquidity – quick money whenever you need it. That’s not to say you ought to park your emergency stash in a battered old Bournvita tin. Consider spreading your contingency fund across various instruments that provide instant liquidity such as a savings account, easily breakable Fixed Deposits, liquid funds and ultra short-term bond funds. All of these will ensure that you earn a little extra on the money you put away.
Additional Reading: How To Put Together An Emergency Fund
Draw up a realistic budget
Be realistic as you set a budget for yourself. A super-stringent budget with no wiggle room for yourself could make it difficult for you to adhere to. If you waver from such a strict budget, you may get disheartened and give up altogether – you’ll end up with little by way of savings and a mountain of crippling self-doubt instead. As with everything else in life, a little self-kindness while planning your budget will yield results in the long run.
The right Credit Card could help you maximise your savings on everyday spends – whether it’s grocery shopping or fuel expenses, the right card may help you cut corners in all the right places. Let’s help you find the perfect card to fit your wallet and get you started on your journey to financial wellness. You’ve got this!