There are few six-letter words I hate more than “saving.” For some reason, it never seemed like a big thing to me.
After all, I want what I want, and I have the money so why can’t I just buy it now? Apparently there are a lot of reasons why I can’t.
Believe it or not, you’re going to need savings at some point in time (shocker!) However, saving is much more than that abstract concept passed around in hushed tones. It’s also much more than that spooky thought that haunts you after you spend more than you planned at the clothing store.
Saving is actually a way to make your future more awesome than you can envision right now. However that’s a hard pill to swallow, considering we live in a world that thrives on instant gratification. Saving is far from instant.
However, I figured some things that would make saving easier for us millennials. Note: I figured this out the hard way:
- Download an app that tracks your spending, or create your own. I say create your own, because I don’t use any apps to track my spending. Instead, I created a budget in Excel, uploaded it to Google Sheets, and just updated it as I went along daily. I got a kick out of managing myself that much. If you’re not a control freak like me you can always download an app like Wallet, Wally or Mint.
- Sit down and spend an hour isolating when and where you habitually spend money, and see where you can cut down on certain purchases. That coffee every morning, or that snack you always sneak really adds up. I used to spend way too much money on pre-sliced, prepackaged fruits for breakfast. Buying those fruits and bringing them to work in the morning has saved me a ton. I’m pretty sure you can figure out where you’re spending some money that just doesn’t make any sense.
- ATM charges are a thing. The charge to use my credit card at a particular ATM here in Jamaica is $549 JMD. That’s like $5 USD, but that’s easily lunch for a day for me. I cringe at how many times I’ve actually paid that charge without even a second thought. Those ATM charges add up. Since I’m always going to need access to money, I use a cheaper ATM.
Those are three of the measures that I put in place to start being more responsible with my money – and trust me, it’s saved me a ton. Here’s a bonus tip: Don’t view saving as a restriction, view it as a stepping stone. When I finally realized that denying myself the thrill of impulse shopping actually had some benefits, I could start walking proudly past things I didn’t need.
What do you think about saving? Are you doing it?