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Why is saving money important? 15 tips to save money

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Photo by Mirza Babic on Unsplash

One of the biggest issues for all the people in the world is money. It has always been one and probably it will continue to be. Some people have no money, others have some but think it is not enough. There are also people who want to rule the world and they also have money issues, but on a whole different level than normal citizens. The point is that everybody wants money and we all have different reasons for that. I am sure that the majority of us will accept some extra cash if someone offers it. And why not?

I have always been someone who puts some money aside. I don’t like spending a lot. Maybe this is something that I got from my mother. She has always been the one taking care of the family budget. And she is still doing it very well. She taught me to never buy useless, in my opinion, things and to always think about my priorities when buying something new. Sometimes, when I was a child, I was angry at her because she was quite severe about that. We were never spending money on expensive things, a lot of clothing, luxurious vacations, new phones and cars, fancy restaurants. Nope. And we were not poor at all. It is just that my parents always think about the long-term investments which I find very smart. We always have to think about the long-term investments in every area of our life — professional, personal, relationships, education.

Now, being in a position of a person who works with people who live in extreme poverty, who obviously have no money at all, made me realize some of the reasons why some people always have financial issues and they will always have some no matter how much money they get in their bank account every single month. The truth is that they don’t have any savings. At all. They spend everything they have without thinking. They see something pretty and immediately buy it. And here I don’t talk only about people who live in poverty (there are many more reasons for them to be poor, not saving and spending everything is just one of them), but also for people who earn pretty well. This is why so many people live like they are billionaires and then, they find themselves in huge lifelong financial debts. In this case a lifelong relationship is not a great deal.

So, I believe that saving money is highly important. Not only for your financial stability and security, but also for your personal development and growth. It makes you define your priorities in life and put some limits of your spontaneous and maybe even shallow desires. So, here I give you my personal tips on saving money and actually, having the possibility to still do, buy and experience what you want, but in a different way. More conscious and responsible.

Make a list with your priorities.

This is extremely helpful! You need to know your priorities before going to the grocery store. Sit down and think about the things that are really very important to you and you just can not live without them. For me, these are eating clean food as much as possible, having a gym membership and travel. If you want to see my post on working out, you can do it here : What did working out teach me about life? and about traveling here : How to travel on a budget and why this will completely change your life

These are my top priorities. Yours will be different. You also know that you have to pay your rent and your bills (electricity, water, Internet, phone) — this is money that you immediately have to cut out of your budget. You know that you don’t have it. Once you make the calculation, you know what you really have.

Buy things that you really need.

Before buying something, ask yourself if it is a must or a want. And be honest with yourself. Having the last Iphone is not a must. What you define as a must, you should buy it. But if it is something that you find beautiful, maybe helpful, but you don’t really need it right now — think again if you want to spend your money on it. If you see a pretty mug, but you already have some in your kitchen, do you really need to buy this one as well. If you see a good revue of a new shampoo, but your old one is still full bottle, wait, don’t buy immediately. Often, people spend extremely big amounts of money on small things and they can not realize how these small amounts of money become huge ones at the end of the month.

Keep a record of your bank transactions.

This is also extremely helpful. It shows us what we actually bought and where we spent our money (and how much). It changes everything to see on paper all your transactions. You get a clear vision of what you could eventually stop buying.

Try to put at least 10% of your monthly income aside.

Immediately. As soon as you get your pay check. This is also money that you cut off of your budget, but not for real. However, not seeing it makes you think that you don’t have it and you can not spend it. 6 months later when you see your savings’ account balance, you will be very well surprised that you have some money, you didn’t think you had.

Buy your food from different stores and the local market.

It takes maybe more time than just going to one big store and buying everything you need from there, but trust me, prices at different supermarkets vary and you can save a lot of money this way. Some products are less expensive at one store and others, at another one. Do your research and buy things from multiple places. Maybe it will cost you more time, but you will save money. Also, the local market is maybe the best place where you could find fresh fruits and vegetables, good quality meat and dairy and the prices are much more affordable than at big grocery stores. Also, this is a way to contribute to small local businesses and to help developing the agriculture.

Go to second-hand shops and outlets.

Big clothing companies throw away tons of T-shirts, jeans, shoes, dresses and so much more every single year. This is a huge cause of pollution. Why do we have to waist the planet’s resources and always buy new clothing, when we can use this that has been thrown away and is still good to wear? For the last 2 years, I have been buying cloths only from second-hand shops and outlets. It is incredible how you can find there good quality items for really cheap. When I enter a store like that and see the products, I think that I will never ever buy clothing from normal fashion stores anymore. Give it a try. It is definitely worth it.

Do your research on the Internet before buying something for the first time.

Sometimes you can find products on the Internet for much cheaper than at a normal store. I talk about beauty products, technology, home décor… Also, you can read people’s reviews on the products and see if they liked it or not. Sometimes, this could completely change your mind about an item and again, save you money (and a potential disappointment).

Look for promotions and discounts.

At the stores or on the Internet, you can find very often interesting promotions and discount prices that will save you tons of money. Also, in many supermarkets you can normally find a place with products which are going to expire soon and they are sometimes 70% or even 80% off their first price. Big supermarkets throw away so much eatable food every day. Do not let them do that and buy some of it. It is better for your wallet and also for the planet.

Also, look for some websites with promotions. You can find technology, holiday offers, clothing, spa procedures, flight tickets and whatever you want at some really interesting prices. Of course, try to not get too overwhelmed and buy a bunch of things only because they are cheap. Again, try to ask yourself first if this is a must or a want.

Try to DIY things.

This is not my strength at all. I am definitely not a DIY-er, but I have seen people doing some really cool stuff by themselves not spending more than 5 bucks. You can find some really helpful videos on YouTube and learn how to sew your own cloths, how to decorate your home with some cheap stuff that you made by yourself, how to turn an old table into a vintage stylish one, how to actually use the fact that you don’t have a lot of money as a possibility to develop your creative side.

Stop buying coffee and cook your own meals.

It is unbelievable how much money people spend every day on coffee and food, when they actually can bring them from their home. If you buy a coffee everyday, you spend at least 10 euros per week only for that. 40 per month. If you buy a sandwich everyday (let say it costs 3 euros, in France they are around 3.50 euros), you spend around 15 euros/week. Per month 60. This is money that you can save if you bring your own food and you drink your coffee at home. This is what I do everyday. I cook my dinner and I put aside some of it for my lunch the next day. This way I eat something fresh, clean and affordable.

Go for cheaper Internet and phone plans.

Do you really need your cable? Do you really need your fancy new phone and all these apps? Do you really need such a good phone camera? If your goal is to become an Instagram star, maybe yes. If you need it for your work, OK. But many people spend money on Internet plans and expensive phones only because it is trendy. At the end of the day, we can actually live very happily without all these extensions which are for the biggest part, useless and make you completely forget that the real life is happening right now while you are scrolling pics. My advice is — go for the basic Internet and phone and you will have everything you need to be happy.

Go to museums and national parks when they are free.

Normally, once per month (the first Sunday of each month), you can go to museums for free. You also have the Night of the Museums when you can visit all the museums you want without paying a penny. These are some great opportunities! Look on the website of the place you want to visit or contact them, and ask if they have some free openings during the year and book your day.

Stop smoking and drinking (or drink less).

Once I stopped smoking and I reduced the amount of alcohol I was taking every week, I realized how much money I was spending on this. And it was a lot. Alcohol and cigarettes are very expensive and they are not good for the health. Cut them off as soon as possible. You can not imagine how much money you are going to save this way. And you are going to feel better than ever. I promise.

You can still go out and have a normal social life.

This is true. Just go for the cheaper options. Order a starter or share your meal with your mate. Order just one beer. If you want to go to a more expensive place, do it once per month, not every week. Look for bars that offer a “happy hour”. On some websites like Groupon you can even find a table for two at some fancy restaurants half price or even cheaper.

Have a goal.

What is your goal? Why do you want to save money? Is it only for the sake of it or is it because you want to do something with it later on? Some people want to travel, others want to buy a car, a house, pay for their education… You have many reasons to save money. Having a goal will make you keep going and not losing faith. Every time when you spend money, you will think of your goal. Your goal is your priority. When we have priorities and we are clear about them, we become much more responsible and reasonable when making decisions. My advice to you is — invest your money. Do not think of the short-term satisfaction, but for the long-term investment. When you spend your money on something, make sure that you are making an investment. Even if you buy shoes — it is better to buy more expensive shoes that will last for years, than buying cheap ones that you have to replace after 2 months of wearing them. Be smart when spending your money. You earned it because you worked for it and you deserve it. Spend it for the right things.

Why is actually saving money important?

Having savings gives you some sort of financial security and stability. Everything is possible. We can get sick, lose our job, go through a difficult personal period, maybe we have to support financially our relatives… It is true that we don’t have to always think of the worst possible scenario, but it is good to be prepared, to know that you have something, even if it is not a lot. I believe that it is great to be adventurous and to take risks in our life, but I don’t think it is a good idea to live day-by-day without making any plans for the future, without having a goal and a purpose in life. This is why I think that saving money in order to invest it in a goal of yours, in your dream, in your passion, is not only an investment in your future, but also in yourself. You do it for yourself. Because you deserve it and you believe in it. This motivates, empowers, gives sens of life, pushes us through our personal boundaries and limiting beliefs. This is what makes people become more responsible and mindful when making decisions and taking actions. More conscious about their life choices. It is not just about the money. It is about the way you see your life and yourself. It is a question of responsibility and priorities. What are your priorities? Are you ready to invest in them? Are you ready to invest in yourself and in your future? Do you believe in it? You should. Love, Elena

You can also check :

How to travel on a budget and why this will completely change your life

The lessons I learned from living a simple life

10 ways you can change the world. TODAY.

10 ways you can change the world. TODAY. Part 2

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