Do you ever feel like no matter how hard you try it’s still impossible to find ways to save money? You mean well and try to spend less, but something always comes up. Life gets in the way - the car needs new tyres, the teenager needs braces, the house needs a new roof - and just like that, saving money takes a back seat. Sound familiar? The truth is, you don’t need everything to magically line up perfectly before you start saving money. Spoiler alert: If you wait for the “right time” to roll around, it’s never going to show up. The best time to start saving is right now.
The good news is that there are plenty of straightforward ways to save money and breathe some fresh air (and fresh cash) into your budget. Here are a few ways on how you can become money-wise:
1. Get on a budget
This one is a game-changer. If you’re not already doing this, now’s the time to make a budget and stick to it. A zero-based monthly budget will show you exactly where your money is going and where you can cut back. (I’m looking at you, late-night menu. Those delicious wings can add up calorifically and financially!)
When you stick to a budget, you might even find “extra” money you didn’t know you had, which is a way better plan than hoping to find R10 in your old jacket from your university days. Check out a super easy budget template you can use to see where you are spending and how much you could save over time.
2. Pay more than the minimum payment
You’ve probably heard this one before. If you’re only paying the minimum payment each month, you’re not getting anywhere fast. You may not even be breaking even with the interest you’re piling up! By making larger payments, you’ll be able to attack the amount you owe at a quicker rate.
I work on a platform, LocumBase, that knows all about this as doctors often have med school loans to pay off. We are a software service platform that connects medical professionals and practices directly with no hidden fees and have over 4000 medical professionals signed up to their system across industries and over 500 active medical practices.
3. Make some financial sacrifices
Remember when we brought up sacrifice earlier? Like saying no to late-night fast food? Here’s where it comes into play.
Look at your lifestyle. What extra stuff have you been living with that you can do without? Bye-bye, DSTV Premium package. See ya, boujee subscription boxes. Maybe cut your housing cost in half by finding a roommate. Do you have a second room that’s not getting much use these days? Rent that sucker out! Just think how quickly you could pay off your student loans if your housing costs were cut way down.
4. Know what you're saving for
The ultimate goal of saving is to reach financial independence, where you no longer need to work to live comfortably and safely and can spend your time however you like.
Have some fun and daydream about what you would do with all that free time.
Add in some shorter-term goals along the way like becoming debt-free or buying a new car or home. Finally, writing them down makes them more likely to happen.
5. Make sure your saving goals are SMART
Once you get past the daydreaming phase, you'll want your goals to be more concrete. They should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and trackable. For example, taking a holiday when needed is a short-term achievable goal!
6. Invest in yourself first
I know it's a cliché but once you decide how much you're going to save for your future goals, the best way to make sure that you actually do it is to set that money aside before you even have a chance to spend it.
Putting your money away in a piggy bank or under your mattress (#mattressmoney) each month does have its benefits, however, the money you're saving loses its value over a period of time due to inflation. Putting your money into an investment account helps your money grow. This is the part where Franc can help you as you have total control over your investing and can see your money grow right from your phone.