The struggle for financial freedom is inevitable unless one is born into wealth – even at that, one may need to learn how to manage his/her finances to curb unforeseen circumstances.
We all love the freedom that comes with having a fat bank account to be able to live life on our own terms, freedom to travel the world with less stress. The fear of poverty literally makes a larger portion of the population start their own businesses and ventures to make more money in order to be able to sustain their lifestyle, Carter for family needs and give back to the society.
Therefore the need for proper money management is a necessity which is why you need to understand ways to save money. You must learn how to manage risk as well as be cautious of your money spending habits to avoid going bankrupt after getting rich. That’s notwithstanding, rich or not, certain hidden charges are incurred when you make a buying decision which adds up to a recurring deficit to your account. It’s best to cut short some of these hidden and unnecessary charges stealing from you which will strengthen your savings and live up to your standards.
So planning is a must as well as tracking your spending and tracking your monthly cash flow. Subtract your income from your expenditure. This will also make it easier to mark progress toward your saving goal. Try a budget app that tracks your spending. In this article, I have outlined 10 painless ways to save money even when your paycheck is never enough. You can follow these ten steps to help you track your monthly expenses and save more.
#1. Ways to Save Money: Budgeting
budgeting still remains the best and one of the oldest ways to save money. Counting your coins and bills is never enough when your paycheck isn’t. You have to be smart and frugal with your spending habits to stay afloat with living up to standard. Most people will buy on impulse (shinning object syndrome) only to complain about paycheck never being enough. To avoid this poor spending habit, learn to plan your budget and determine how much you are spending a week or a month to keep track of your finances. Thus the importance of budgeting cannot be overemphasized.
In simple terms, budgeting is simply planning a financial statement in order to be aware of what you’re spending money on so as to avoid unnecessary expenditure and regulate how you spend. One smart way to manage your money and hopefully hold on to more of it is to follow a budget.
Budgeting can also be seen as a spending plan because saving money doesn’t mean you have to quit spending altogether. It just means you have to prioritize some financial goals over others. There are no setbacks towards budgeting but the benefits are enormous. Making a list of the things you need and not what you want can go a long way in shaping your spending habits, thereby making you spend less and save more.
When it comes to budgeting, there are a lot of rules to money management. We at Munchads prefer a saving habit called the 50/10/10/10/10 rules. This rule is termed the 5 buckets of financial Life. It’s simply splitting your income into 5 buckets in order to avoid unnecessary spending. The rule is this.
First bucket: The 50% bucket of necessity.
On this list, one can find the basic necessities of life. Items on this first bucket will be things like food, clothes, shelter, and the most pressing needs of man. The bucket helps address issues surrounding important things.
Second bucket: The 10% bucket is strictly for investment. You must normalize investing a fraction of your income to bring more meat to the table and to do that, this second bucket helps you invest only money found or save in this bucket so as not to use money meant for necessity in place of investment.
Third bucket: The 10% emergency funds. Living is difficult and risks are bound to happen that you cannot control. Having this psychology and saving towards economic downtime is a great way to save a whole lot of money and avoid unnecessary expenditure in case of outbursts or emergencies. Money saved in this bucket helps to take care of emergencies and not spend money meant for investment or necessity. You will have to develop a certain level of discipline to meet with this model.
Fourth Bucket: The 10% bucket of learning. Like the saying, learning never stops and one who stops learning is doom for life. Learning one or two new skills to help you generate more income and stay afloat with your finance requires paying for a course or program, attending seminars, and a lot more. This 10% bucket of learning helps to take care of bills incurred when paying for lessons or courses. You don’t have to use money from your first bucket or second to finance this as you have already made provision for it.
Fifth Bucket: The 10% bucket of fun. Spending is part of life and can never stop. Money meant for partying, visiting a friend, and enjoyment is made provision for in this bucket.
With the help of this bucket, one can easily come up with a budget to avoid heavy equipment spending like buying furniture and other expensive things and if the need arises, money invested (investment bucket) once it yields profits, you can either buy whatever heavy equipment you feel like to buy or reinvent.
This method helps keep your finances in check and prevent unnecessary spending. There are no setbacks to this planning but benefits.
Read Also: 5 Low Capital Businesses to Start in 2022
#2. Ways to Save Money: SET SAVINGS GOAL
Goal setting is crucial to everyday life; businesses, as well as savings goals, go a long way, in determining one’s financial state. Just as in business where you set a realistic but achievable goal say, for example, I want to hit $50,000 at end of the 12 calendar months. What I have to do is break that goal into achievable monthly goals like making $4,200 per month and $140 a day to meet up with the goal.
So this is applicable to your savings goals as well. Set a specific but realistic goal. It may be to save $5,000 in an individual retirement account this year or pay off my credit card debt faster. Use a savings goal calculator to see how much you’d have to save each month or year to reach your goal. One smart way to care for your money management and hopefully hold on to more of it is to follow a budget.
We think about a budget as a spending plan because saving money doesn’t mean you have to quit spending altogether. It just means you have to prioritize some financial goals over others.
We recommend the 50/10/10/10/10 as mentioned earlier but if it’s difficult to meet up then use the 50/30/20 budget for smart money management. Devote 50% of your income to necessities, 10% to wants, and 20% to savings. If you find one of your allocations exceeds these percentages, make some adjustments to fit the formula.
As you work toward your ultimate financial goal, make sure to put your newfound funds in a good high-yield savings account to maximize your money. Some of the best online accounts pay interest rates that are much higher than large traditional banks. Track spending by category, compare months, and spot ways to save.
Putting a fraction of your money against rainy days is a financial route to bypass future emergencies and expenditures. And its importance cannot be overemphasized and it’s not an option to forgo. You plan for your budget as well as you plan for saving for retirement.
#3. Ways to Save Money: Cancel unnecessary subscriptions.
Uncheck the auto-renew option on any subscriptions you aren’t using regularly, such as subscription boxes or streaming services. We at Munchads prefer the one-off purchase of subscription cable of any kind. Doing this gives you a certain discipline and if you count your money, you will be informed whether to go for a subscription or not.
For example, let’s make use of your normal monthly data subscription with any of the network providers MTN or GLO and others while having a defaulted charger. You opt-in for a monthly subscription of NGN 1,500 for a 3gigabyte tariff plan on an auto-renewal base. This means for anytime you’re out of subscription, the system should automatically renew your subscription by debiting NGN 1,500 from your account.
Now assuming you have NGN3, 000 as your account balance and you purchase the data plan for NGN1,500 left with half of your net balance that is for calling friends, business meetings, and family. But when you auto-renew, you get debited the remaining balance and be left with nothing for calls. You’ll have to credit an extra NGN1,000 for calling you didn’t plan for. The money probably might be helpful in replacing a bad charger which may be a necessity.
Cancellation of unnecessary subscriptions helps you save costs when running on a low budget or when your paycheck is never enough.
Read Also: 5 Low Capital Businesses to Start in 2022
#4. Ways to Save Money: Restrict online shopping.
Shopping online is super cool and very good but it’s only good as living up to your expenses. On the other hand, if you’re running on a low budget and your paycheck is never enough to carter for spending habits, then it is advisable to make it a difficult habit to shop online. Instead of saving your billing information, force yourself to input your shipping address and credit card number each time you order. You’ll probably make fewer impulse purchases.
Map out major purchases; time your purchase of appliances, furniture, electronics and more according to annual sale periods. Don’t buy anything in an emotional state or on a hunch, either. Always wait a day or two before buying to limit buyers’ remorse.
#5. Ways to Save Money: ALWAYS GO FOR DISCOUNTED OFFERS
When operating on a low budget it’s advisable to go on discounted offers to save cost and have more buying power. Take advantage of when a company or brand is running a promo offers to get what you need and this is an opportunity to buy what you want in the long- run.
Offers like black Fridays are only done once in every 12 calendar months. Planning and saving towards this day will be of great benefit to you when running on low budgets or probably when your paycheck is not enough. Make a list of the things you need as well as your wants, and save towards the event day to buy the things you need/want. This helps to cut down costs.
More so, take advantage of free days at museums and national parks to save on entertainment costs. You can also ask about discounts for seniors, students, military members, and more.
#6. Ways to Save Money: Make your own gifts
Go the DIY (Do it yourself) route or save money with affordable gift ideas, like herb gardens and gift baskets. You need to be truthful to yourself as well as your expenses. Forgo unnecessary spending. Opt-in for things you can do on your own and stop throwing money out, living above your means just to live up to standards.
For example. If you have the time to launder your clothes please do, other than to pay for laundry services to save cost. Be truthful to your finances. Let’s do quick math, if it cost NGN100 to launder 1 cloth, it will cost NGN1, 000 to launder 10 clothes. Whereas you can buy a detergent for NGN200 to wash while saving NGN800 smartly.
#7. Ways to Save Money: Order smaller servings at restaurants
When you go out to eat at a restaurant, it’s advisable to opt-in for homemade meals. But if you must go out to a restaurant or bar, subscribe for smaller orders that are in proportion to your monthly income. Opt for appetizers or split an entree with your dining companion to save money when you eat out. This goes a long way in your financial life. Resist the urge to upgrade your lifestyle when your paycheck is never enough.
Similarly, you can actually consider making a list of what you’re spending money on when you go out if you can’t avoid it totally when your paycheck is never enough, this helps you to regulate cost and keep your spending habits in check.
Another way is by going for a smaller package instead of the full package. For example. When Mac Donald’s offers three packages for burgers. $5 for just the burger, $5.50 for a burger and popcorn, and $5.90 for a burger, popcorn, and a Coke. These are just offered to make you spend. So if you’re running on a low budget then consider buying the first option and you have enough you can upgrade to the next.
#8. Ways to Save Money: Monitor your electric bills.
Keep track of your electric subscriptions and always go for a low-budget plan. Keep an eye for heavy equipment and immediately turn them off as these appliances use electricity at a high rate.
Big and small changes in your energy usage can help you save thousands annually on your electric bill.
#9. Ways to Save Money: Cut Down Your Expense
Expenses are what you spend your money on. Cutting down your expenses might be one of the best financial advice you can ever get. Another good financial advice you should know is to never allow your expenses to be bigger or larger than your income. There will always be expenses and you should try and not be a slave to your human desires as you will always have reasons to spend money.
In Economics, it is said that human wants are insatiable. This is very true. Wants are things you desire but you might not really need them at the moment. Needs are things that are important to you and you need to get. A way to cut down your expenses is to buy what you need in wholesales. This will help you get things at a cheaper price which implies you might be getting a discount; it also means you will remove the amount the middlemen are supposed to make from the business transaction.
When you cut your expenses, you have an opportunity to save more or invest in things that will help you make money in the future which will increase your income in the future.
Read Also: 5 Low Capital Businesses to Start in 2022
#10. Ways to Save Money: Automate your savings.
Set aside an income to be removed from your monthly paycheck once it’s received. You can use any of the saving platforms like Piggyvest or cowrywise. It helps you remove the desired amount you want to be debited from your account. This helps you avoid spending all your funds and having a little to play with against rainy days. This is a smart decision and a fallback option that shouldn’t be taken for granted. It also contributes to building your income for long-term and retirement.
For example, you’re being paid NGN200, 000 on a monthly basis. What you do is set let’s say NGN50, 000 to your Piggyvest account and it will automatically debit the set-aside income on a monthly basis. At the end of the year, you would have saved up NGN600, 000 painlessly.
Summarily, there are more than 50 ways to cut expenses short but for the purpose of this article, we have limited to ten painless ways to save money when your paycheck is never enough. The above-highlighted points are ten ways one can use to regulate spending and save money.