Saving money is not hard. You should know how to save by now. Most people just don’t have time to manage their money and save every penny they can. Every month I read blogs and see tweets about how different people are saving money. The difference between these articles, tweets, and blogs is that some people are actually saving money.
People always ask me how they can manage their money and save it. They are looking for tips, tricks, and methods — but nobody really has the answer. There’s just no way to be clever about it. It’s just that simple. It comes down to saving your money properly and only spending it if you have an emergency or are going out of town to spend it.
How do you manage and save money?
I have always been a frugal person, but it wasn’t until I met my husband that I truly learned how to save money. He taught me how to manage money and how to save it. Now, I am the one who teaches him how to manage his money.
We have had a few financial problems in the past couple of years, but we’ve always managed to get through them. My husband is not good at saving; he thinks that if he pays $200 per month on his credit card, then he will be able to pay for everything. He does not understand that you have to pay more than $200 per month because interest is so high on credit cards now.
The first step is to learn about money. You can do this by reading a book or magazine, watching a documentary on the subject, or talking to someone who knows how it works.
Next, decide how much you need to save each month. Then, figure out what percentage of your income that is. If you have $1,000 in income and spend $1,200 per month, saving 10% of your income would mean saving $100 per month.
If you’re saving too much or too little, then start over until you find a balance that works for you.
I’m a saver. I’ve been saving for many years. I’ve always had a savings account, kept some cash in it, and when I had a little extra money, I would put it into savings. The reason is simple: I like to save money because it’s the only way that you can really be sure that you won’t run out of money in the future.
When you have no money saved up and your credit card bill comes due, there’s no way around it. You have to pay the credit card bill or don’t get any food until next week and maybe even longer than that. That’s not good; you need money now, so what are your options?
I think one option is to borrow from family or friends when you really need it and then repay them later with interest (but with less interest). Another option is to wait until payday and borrow from the bank but pay back over time at just below market rates (but with more interest). Both options suck in terms of how much time each cost but they are better than missing out on something important like groceries or medical bills.
I wrote this article because I felt motivated to share my personal methodology for maximizing savings. The methods below certainly aren’t groundbreaking, but they’ve made a big difference in my ability to save and spend wisely over the past year. Hopefully, they’ll do the same for you in the process, even if you tweak them a bit to your own liking.
One thing to keep in mind is that these rapid savings come with a cost. For starters, you might get hooked on couponing and fall into some of the traps associated (ahem, extreme couponing). If you’re someone for whom money is borderline-addictive, I say tread very carefully!