Saving—lots of folks out there have mixed feelings about it. Some are good at it, while others tend to avoid it because they’ve just got too many necessities to spend on. Either way, saving is a challenge that everyone needs to take up for the sake of their [financial] well-being!
It’s best to start early as well so that you’ll have 0 problems in the long run, and that you get to live the life of your dreams, too! The trick is to not be afraid of it and just go for it. And if you’re lost on where to start, you’re lucky because we got you. Save smarter and save better with these handy tips that’ll help you get on your financial feet in no time!
Write down your financial goals.
Before you start saving, of course, you must know what exactly you’re saving for. Sit yourself down, take a deep breath, and reflect on where you want to be, financially. Ask yourself some questions like at what age do you want to retire? How old do you plan on moving out or purchasing your own place? When do you want to get married? Are you planning on raising a family? All these things need money, and lots of it!
Then, think of the stuff you want in the short term as well. Do you want to travel somewhere in the next 2-3 years? What do you want to treat yourself with this year? These little things are important too. Just think of your ideal lifestyle, how much you might need for it, and then write everything down.
1. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket—open different accounts with different banks.
Okay, so you have one bank account. That’s cool. But it’s time to open more! The reason why it’s not a good idea to put all your eggs in one basket is for the sake of saving as well. Let’s say you’ve saved big and it’s all in one bank account. That’ll give you the illusion of you having lots of money when it’s really not the case.
It’s good to have separate bank accounts to grab from according to different priorities. For example, Bank A can house your liquid money for your bills and day-to-day expenses, while Bank B stores your emergency fund, and then you have Bank C for overall savings.
Have a mix of traditional banks and digital banks as well. Digital banks are great for savings because they usually offer higher interest rates than your brick-and-mortar institutions. For example, the Philippines’ Tonik gives 4% interest p.a. for their Stashes (savings accounts) and a 6% interest p.a. for their Time Deposits. For your savings and emergency funds, go for a digital bank so that your money can grow big while you work.
2. Make separate accounts or pockets for each goal.
Now that we’ve talked about separate accounts, if you can, try to make them for each financial goal. Or, to make things easier, find a digital bank that has a convenient pocket feature that can separate your savings into each of your goals. A bunch of them usually have that.
3. If possible, automate your deposits and transfers.
Got your payroll account? Automate that a part of it gets deposited into your savings account. Got bills to pay? Set up your bills payments every month so that you don’t forget about it and pay them immediately. The good thing about automating everything including deposits and transfers is so that you resist the temptation to use your money for something impulsive or reckless, like a new and shiny object that may not necessarily need. It’s also so that you won’t forget anything important and end up having your electricity or internet suddenly cut, or something like that!
4. Use credit cards only when necessary or helpful.
Credit cards are great, especially if you want to buy something pricey (like a gadget) and pay in installments. They’re also very handy for their rewards programs or points cumulation and you can save when you use their promos. But apart from these, try to keep your credit card use to a minimum.
Credit card expenses mean debt, money, and bills that you may forget about in the future. You could be spending cash that you don’t have. So only make use of it when you really, really need something or if you’re able to save while using it! Maximize debit card use instead.
5. Use a money management app.
Got a budget already? Great! But you can make your budget work even harder for you when you use the money management app. These aren’t just easier to use but are also packed with features that’ll help you save your money. For example, if you’re forgetful when it comes to paying bills, you can turn on notifications for that.
Other apps can even synchronize your bank accounts so you can see how much you have from just one platform! The ones that require subscriptions can even send you analysis reports so you can see where you’re at with your financial goals. Popular budgeting apps include Mint, YNAB (You Need a Budget), and Buddy.
6. Save from all your sources of income.
This particularly helps a lot if you’re a freelancer or if you have jobs on the side, other than your main one. Try to save at least 10-20% of each income source and place it in your savings wallet or whatever investment you have on your portfolio. Even if your friend or a family member owes you some spare change—aim to save from that as well and don’t spend everything immediately. Make saving a habit, and then it’ll just come naturally to you!