Three Evergreen Tips On Saving Money

Piggy BankThe following has been contributed by a reader.

Who doesn’t like to save money? Unless you are a multimillionaire or a billionaire, chances are that you could use some money saving tips. So here are three evergreen tips on saving money.

Budget

The first step in making a budget is to know how much you spend. So, for a month, record every expense, however trivial – the newspaper, the snacks, the bills etc. Once you have the data, then organize the expenses into different categories such as the mortgage, gas and groceries. Then total each category.

After recording your expenses, you can now go ahead and create a budget to limit overspending and cut back on unnecessary expenditures. Remember to include expenses that occur regularly though not monthly, for example, car maintenance. From here you can set a percentage of your income that will go to savings. Financial wisdom demands that you save at least 15% of your monthly income. You can save more if you wish and are prudent.

Set Saving Goals

Having saving goals not only makes it easier to save but also motivates you to save more. Determine how long it will take to attain a set saving goal. You can categorize your saving goals into short-term goals (which usually range from a year to three years) and long-term goals, which take any amount of time above three years to achieve. Short-term goals may include, but are not limited to: saving to buy a car, starting an emergency fund that will cover between six months to one year of living expenses just in case you are laid off and saving for a vacation. Long-term saving goals, on the other hand, may include: saving for retirement, saving to buy a house, saving for children’s college fees or saving for a major business investment.

On saving goals, ensure you set priorities. Decide which saving goals are most important to you, how long you’d want to save for a particular goal and how much you are willing to put away per month in order to attain your goals. If your priority is saving for retirement, then other goals might enjoy less preference as you work to ensure you reach your retirement goals.

Depending on the nature of your savings objective, there are different savings and investment strategies suited for each. For example, if you are grappling with a short-term savings goal, you might prefer using a regular savings account because it is easily accessible or a certificate of deposit account, which locks your money for a certain time at a set interest rate. If it is a long-term goal, then you might consider using riskier investments such as mutual funds because they are commonly used to invest for long term.

Unfortunately, you should be prepared for some unforeseen emergencies that can distract you from reaching your financial goals. However, it is rare anyone prepares for the worst unforeseen emergencies, including divorce and bankruptcy.

Exercise Financial Fidelity

The primary reason for many financial problems is lack of financial discipline or the inability to delay gratification in the short term. So many people associate happiness with spending money to purchase wares they might not need. It is a somewhat a reflex action but you should practice on how to suppress your urges.

Financial fidelity requires you use your savings for the goal to which they were kept. For example, it is discouraging and imprudent to save for a car for three years then buy jewelry instead. It demoralizes you once you realize the blunder and you might not be as effective in saving again. Note that once you give in to a single impulsive indiscretion, then you open floodgates for more. Through and through, ensure you practice financial fidelity. Don’t spend what you don’t have as that is wont to increase your financial burden by accumulating debts.

If you are in business, financial fidelity demands you plan ahead. In case you run into an economic landmine that will blow up the assets of your business, then protect your valuable assets by considering a Scottsdale Bankruptcy Attorney. The Canterbury Law Group has among many other things, specialized in bankruptcy matters and can protect your assets just in case.

No one can foresee the future, but by practicing the three actions above you will be in much better shape than those who don’t.

photo by: 401(K) 2013