How to Save Money Like a Pro

This guide shows you how to save money like a seasoned professional.

by CreativeFinances.com

Saving money gives you and your family more opportunities in life.

That’s why learning how to save money is one of the most important things you could ever do. Yet saving a significant amount of money feels like an impossible task for many people.

Research has shown that one person in every five hasn’t saved a dime.

Some people actually do try to save.

Unfortunately, they end up quitting halfway through because they feel like it’s too difficult and makes their life unbearable.

But there are numerous ways to save without making unnecessary sacrifices and without tormenting yourself.

And the best part is, it only requires a few minor tweaks to your spending habits.

So what’s the first step in learning how to save money now and well into the future?

To Save Money Faster, Develop the Right Mentality

Before learning all of the different ways you can save money on just about anything, you first need to create the right mindset.

Doing that will help keep you motivated to continue with your money-saving journey, no matter what obstacles may arise.

One of the best ways to prepare your mind for the task of saving is to picture what life would be like when you do have some money saved.

To help you see all the different possibilities that saving can create for you, we’ve created a list of benefits.

  • You’re better able to deal with a job loss.
  • You’ll be prepared for financial emergencies.
  • If you ever dreamed of launching your own business, having money saved can help you achieve that vision.
  • Planning on having a baby? You’ll have the financial resources to help make the experience better.
  • Helps you better prepare for retirement.
  • Helps pay for vacations, allowing you to have more fun and spend more quality time with family and friends.
  • Helps you steer clear of debt now and down the road.
  • Helps you put a bigger down payment on a house or buy a more reliable car.
  • Frees you from the fear and anxiety of always feeling like you're one crisis away from a complete financial disaster.
  • You get more peace-of-mind.
  • Helps pay for your education or that of your kids.

Picturing all of these benefits can help you achieve your money-saving goals. Now let’s take a look at the steps you need to take…

How to Save Money One Step at a Time 

Here are 14 tips for saving money…

1. Set Saving Goals and Stick to Them

Having financial goals is what gives you focus. Goals are the reasons for you to save money now and in the future.

What is it that you want out of saving money?

Take a look at our list of benefits in the section above. See which benefits best fit what you’re trying to do.

The benefits you want the most become your goals for saving.

Always have those goals in mind to keep you motivated to save.

For example, do you want to save money so you can take an extra family vacation? Then always keep that family vacation in mind when you’re managing your money. The family vacation becomes your goal.

Maybe you want to do some repairs on your home to spruce it up a bit and increase its value. Keep that goal in mind.

But it’s also important to set saving goals that are realistic and specific.

You can use a savings goal calculator to calculate how much you’ll need to keep every month to meet your yearly goals.

You don’t have to save fifty thousand dollars, drown yourself in sorrow or survive on debt all year.

You just need a good plan.

Study after study has shown that people who set personal finance goals are more successful than those that don’t. The studies have shown that people are also happier because they feel like they are more in control of their life and finances when they save more.

So there’s many benefits to setting goals.

2. A Budget is Your Best Friend

When trying to budget, the first step is to assess how much money you earn monthly and yearly. Then seeing where all of it is going.

When budgeting, use the 45/25/35 rule.

Following this rule will require you to spend forty-five percent of your salary on essential items like food and rent. And twenty-five percent should be set aside as savings. The other thirty-five percent should be used to cover personal expenses.

3. Establish an Emergency Fund

Nobody knows what tomorrow holds, and that’s why setting aside some money for emergencies is critical.

Most experts recommend that you should set aside an amount that is six times your monthly living expenses.

This means that you can comfortably live for six months in case you lose your job without going into debt. You can also use this extra cash to cater for unforeseen medical emergencies when they come up.

An emergency fund is a great reason to save money every month. In fact, it’s one of the most important reasons.

4. Turn on the Automatic Savings

If you always have to transfer money into your savings account anytime you want to save; you are more likely to forget or even willingly forego saving.

That’s where direct deposit can really help. If you’re not already doing this, it could be one of the big reasons why you’re unable to save.

By depositing your paycheck directly into your bank account, there’s a better chance that some of the money will stay there.

This is a tactic that’s encouraged by most personal finance experts. And it’s something you should be doing, especially since it’s so easy to do.

5. Maintain Your Car

Too many people skimp on some of the minor maintenance that’s required for their car.

But doing that usually comes back to haunt them in the form of a big repair bill that eats into their savings or crushes any chance they had of building up any savings.

So don’t hold back on any of the repairs or minor maintenance needed for your car to run smooth. Little expenses here and there are a lot better than the really big expenses that can cripple you financially.

To save money with this option, follow your car maker’s guidelines for maintaining the vehicle. And then stick to the maintenance schedules.

6. Maintain Your Home

To save even more money, follow good housekeeping advice. Do all of the necessary housework in and around the house.

This can save you from costly repair bills later on.

Some of the things you can do to keep your home in shape include maintaining the exteriors by constantly repainting your home.

Checking for any cracks in the foundation of the house. Scrubbing your gutters from time to time to ensure that water is flowing off your roof.

Having a professional check the trees around your home for sturdiness can also save you from bigger repair bills down the road.

Another way to build up savings through your home is to refinance your mortgage. By changing your mortgage plan, you can save a lot of money every month. A refinancing mortgage calculator can tell you how much you are likely to save. However, talk to a financial advisor before implementing it or even entering into any contracts. 

7. Refinance Other Loans

You should even consider refinancing a personal loan if it makes sense and saves you money on a monthly basis.

It might extend the life of your loan but can also help you to save money every month. More than your saving right now.

The same goes for student loans. If refinancing is going to save you a substantial amount every month, then it might be worth it.

But that’s a decision each individual needs to make for themselves because they are the only ones that truly knows what their situation is.
8. Put Off the Big Buys… for a While

Before making any big-money purchase, think about it first. In fact, think about it for at least 30 days.

Write down what you intend to purchase and its cost.

If you still feel it’s necessary to acquire the item after 30 days, go ahead and make the purchase. If not, forget it!

If you decide to buy the item in question, pay cash for it. This will save you from paying outrageous interest fees.

This little strategy has worked for many a saver – and it can work for you too. In fact, it’s one of the best things you can do to avoid impulse buying of big-ticket items that can crush your finances.

9. Avoid Debt

Don’t borrow if you don’t have to. That’s a big part of learning the basics of how to save money long term.

Debt is one of the main reasons for people not having any savings.

If someone has to continuously pay off old debts, that means they have less money to save. Or even nothing to save.

Debt costs you money, time and aggravation.

So it’s important to avoid it as much as possible. Even better, avoid it at all costs.

If you must use a credit card, then pay them off on time every month.

Spend within you limits and you eliminate the need to borrow money in the first place.

Again, whenever possible, pay for things with cash.

10. Track Your Spending

The best way to reduce unnecessary expenses and to save money without the usual headaches is to keep track of your spending.

Once you know exactly where all your money is going, you can then make the necessary changes that will save you money.

For instance, keeping track of what you spend every day for coffee can give you a better picture of just how much it’s putting a crimp on your finances. Maybe you might want to cut back on it or make your own at home to save more.

Tracking these expenses will make your decisions easier.

11. Adopt an Economic Smartphone Plan

If your monthly cellphone bill has grown to epic proportions, then it might be time you consider adopting a new plan. One that helps you save money and puts more cash back into your pocket every month.

You can cut back on your cellphone spending by getting rid of unnecessary warranties, phone insurance, and expensive data plans.

Don’t be afraid to completely switch your service provider if you come across some other cheaper option.

This may require you to do a little research, but it could be worth it depending on how much you’re currently paying every month.

12. Plan Your Groceries

Before shopping for your groceries, make a list of all the items you need to buy and do not buy anything that doesn’t appear on the list.

Make generous use of coupons if you don’t already.

This is an overlooked way to save money on a weekly basis. Get in the habit of couponing as much as you possibly can.

You should also avoid tagging along with picky eaters since you might be tempted to overstretch your budget.

Meal planning is an essential tool since it helps you cut on costs while still maintaining a healthy diet. 

13. DIY as Much as Possible

Before giving your hard-earned cash to a repairman or service contractor, try doing it yourself first.

Purchasing a few materials and downloading a few tutorial videos will save you tons of money compared to buying ready-made appliances.

You can also request for assistance from your friends or even relatives if your DIY project requires you to do so.

However, if the project will cost you more than the actual market price of the product, just purchase from a shop.

The goal here is to save money by not to spending more.

You might not accumulate wealth overnight, but the key to saving more is patience. Saving more is about becoming aware of your negative spending habits and making an effort to correct them.

Following the steps above, you can become financially responsible and start reaping the benefits right away. There is no ideal time or day to start your journey to save money on everything you possibly can. 

14. Earn More Money

If you really want to put your savings into overdrive, then get a second job or work more overtimes at work.

You don’t have to do this for a long period of time. Six to 12 months can really put some extra money into your bank account and put you ahead.

But you might just like how much the extra work is contributing to your savings that you may wish to keeping going with the second job or continue working overtime at your current job.

The key to making this strategy work is to not work so many more hours that it starts taking a serious toll on your quality of life.

If that becomes the case, then you’ll feel burned out and want to quit the second job sooner than later.

The Final Word on How to Save Money

As you can see, saving doesn’t have to be as dull and as excruciating as most people make it.

Putting more of your money in the bank every month is crucial to your financial health now and in the future.

Without any savings, your opportunities are more limited in life.

You can’t invest for potential growth. You have less money for fun stuff like taking a vacation or two.

It’s harder to move to a better place to improve your life and your family’s life. And there are so many other things you’ll miss out on by not having any savings.

On top of missing out on more opportunities, you lose a lot of your independence. But knowing how to save money eliminates most of these problems.

So give it some real effort.

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