Please enjoy this guest post from Anum Yoon today! She offers some fantastic tips for saving more money.
Everyone wants to save money. There’s always something great that you’d like to add to your house, or an amazing trip you’d love to experience. Saving money can liberate you, but it can also pose a challenge.
As fun as it can be to spend your cash on the things you love, life can find ways of costing you more money than you were expecting. Maybe you were close to your savings goal one time and then got a flat tire, or your air conditioning broke. Some things you can’t see coming.
Are you one of the many people who needs a new way of looking at budgeting? Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to motivate yourself if you think outside of how you’d normally approach saving money.
5 budget tips that will motivate you to save more
1. Focus on Your Goals
Almost everyone that will try to give you budgeting advice will tell you this: focus on your goals. It’s easy to do that when you’re writing out your budget, but it’s not as easy when you’re at the grocery store looking at a giant tub of ice cream you’d love to buy, wishing to break out of your normal eating routine.
Those moments are the key to saving money, especially if your goals are long-term. Utilize helpful financial tools and calculators so you are absolutely clear about the steps necessary to meet your savings goals. Focus on why you’re saving in the first place when moments of weakness creep into your mind. Your goals were motivating enough to get you started, and they’ll carry you through the process of saving.
2. Set a Weekly or Daily Amount
This is a great tip for those who use budgeting tools, which typically budget for the whole month. That can be great, but how do you know what your spending limit is for each week? However you manage your big budget, write down a short-term spending amount somewhere. A mini-budget will help you think short term and not be overwhelmed when trying to budget for groceries while shopping
3. Learn How to Cook
You might think that buying frozen dinners are saving you money, but it’s quite the opposite. When you microwave every meal and buy food from the dollar menu during your lunch break, you’re spending more money than you think. To give your wallet and your body a moment to breathe, try learning to cook cheap meals to save some cash.
You don’t need to make Thanksgiving dinner every night. Stock up on basics that can be made to complete any meal, like rice, beans and frozen meats. If you have a few favorite spices in the pantry, you’ll be able to get creative and make different dinners with the same few ingredients.
4. Find New Ways to Have Fun
Yeah, everyone wants to see the latest movie that just hit the theaters, and you don’t want to be the odd one out by saying you can’t go. It’s okay to budget out some fun money, but make sure you don’t have it as one of the biggest financial fixtures. Instead, use the money sparingly and encourage your friends to try new activities instead.
Spend a few minutes figuring out fun ways to have a money-free weekend. Local libraries often have free events for the public, and if you search a bit, you’ll probably find some free community sports as well. If you want to do something without friends, check out some new podcasts or take a walk at the local park. Your new activities may not be the first ideas that pop into your head, but they can be just as fun — if not more — than what you normally do.
5. Monitor the Growth of Your Savings
Don’t forget to check out the total of your savings growth. Learning to budget isn’t always easy, so take the time to congratulate yourself and watch your progress. Tracking progress might encourage you to reach saving milestones quicker if you’re a competitive person!
It’s okay to treat or be strict with yourself sometimes. Most people experience budgeting struggles at some point in their life. If you need a bit more motivation to save money, try new strategies or reading about ways to have fun on whatever your budget allows. Even if you can’t find any fun money in your bank account, there’s always ways to break your routine and motivate yourself to stick to your financial goals.