Most of us are always finding ways to save money. Wouldn’t it be great if we could save money on a daily basis by finding the best deals for food, daily household items and even on discount motorcycle tires? Yes we can if we try hard enough to do a little homework by scouring the internet for the best deals and promotions.
Many of us find that the hardest thing about saving money is just getting started. This step-by-step guide on how to save money can help you develop a simple and realistic plan to save a little money for rainy days and a comfortable retirement.
1. Record your expenses
The first step to saving money is to figure out how much you spend on a daily basis. Keep track of all your expenses—that means every single item that you spend money on must be recorded. One good way of recording and keeping track of your expenses is by using Microsoft Excel. Keep your receipts each time you make a purchase and enter the amount into your Excel spreadsheet. At the end of each month, you will be able to see how much you’ve spent and whether you’ve spent within your budget, exceeded your budget or have an excess.
2. Set a budget
Once you have an idea of how much you spend in a month, you can begin to organize your recorded expenses into a workable budget. Your budget should outline how your expenses measure up to your income—so you can plan and control your spending to avoid overspending. In addition to your monthly expenses, be sure to factor in expenses that occur regularly but not every month, such as buying birthday gifts, car maintenance and oem motorcycle parts for your bike.
3. Plan on saving money
Now that you’ve made a budget, create a savings category within it. Try to save 10 to 15 percent of your income. If your expenses are so high that you can’t save that much, look at your Expenses List and try to look for things that you can cut back, for example your daily cup of coffee, a monthly hair cut or new clothes that you don’t really need.
Tip: Consider the money you put into savings a regular monthly expense, similar to groceries, to reinforce good savings habits.
4. Decide on Your Priorities
After your expenses and income, your goals are likely to have the biggest impact on how you allocate your savings. Always remember what your long-term goals are. It is important that saving for your children’s college funds and planning for a comfortable retirement don’t take a back seat to shorter-term needs. Set aside a compulsory savings of say, $300 each month so that your long-term goals can be met.
5. Make saving automatic and stress-free
Most banks offer automated transfers between your checking and savings accounts. You can choose when, how much and where to transfer money or even split your direct deposit so a portion of every paycheck goes directly into your savings account. Splitting your direct deposit and setting up automated transfers are simple ways to save money since you don’t have to think about it every month, and it reduces the temptation to spend the money instead.
If you have an emergency purchase or have to buy motorcycle helmets for women as your old one has worn out, thus busting your budget for the month, try to find ways to cut out expenses from other areas. You can always turn down an invite for an after-office drink or have a staycation instead of an out-of-town vacation.