If you are in a profession where you don’t have a fixed monthly earning, saving is going to be very tricky for you. For example, me being a digital media consultant and a blogger, I am never entirely sure how much I am gonna make the next month. We get gigs that are one-timer and also get campaigns that are for a month or so.
So some months I make more money but not thinking right, I end up spending more money that month as well. Here are a few reasons why I have always sucked at saving money:
- I don’t have responsibilities on me. My husband takes care of the household expense so I never had the pressure to earn nor save.
- I used to only have short-term expectations like saving to get an iPhone or a new laptop or a trip to somewhere in Asia.
- I love food and movies! so I just need an excuse to watch anything in cinema with a dine out of course.
So It was a few months ago that I realised how stupid I was to spend almost all that I earn. If I want to have a car, buy a new home or take a tour to Europe, I should still have enough money in the bank to deal with any emergency. Here are a few tips that helped me:
1- Have your own separate account for the purpose of saving
I don’t believe in Savings Account in banks as I rather have my money readily available in case of emergencies. Plus I think the markup that you get is very low. It’s better to invest in other options rather than in banks. That’s my personal opinion btw. Although having a separate account for the purpose of saving always helps! That way you know how much money you have saved and you aren’t allowed to spend from it on the day to day activities.
2. Save 50% of what you make for the first 3 months, then 20% every month.
If you are also starting saving late in life like me, try to put aside 50% of your earning the first 3 months. That will teach you how to handle your expenses with half the earning. You will be able to identify your needs vs your habitual spending. So you will have to give up your habitual spending for three months. After three months, either you would be over those habitual spendings or you would have definitely cut them down. You will also appreciate the 80% earning that you are making.
3. Cook more often. Mark up on food is crazy high!
The amount of money that I spend on food is crazyyyy high. See the food has the highest markup and because we are busy with earning money, we often don’t get time to make 3 meals/day. So we dine out more than we should. I’ve learnt a trick, I always cook in bulk and plan my day out in the morning. For example, if I have an event in the afternoon, I will have a big breakfast so that we don’t get hungry till the time I come back from the event. There are also deals and options like Bogo and foodpanda discounts deals. If you’ve to spend, make sure you are getting it delivered than eating at a high-end restaurant. Then you won’t pay for the ambience. Ever noticed how that stall around the corner has such tasty food but you don’t eat there too often because there is no proper place to sit? Get takeaway from there and eat at your home while netflix-ing 😉
4- Come up with specific money goals! Think big
The biggest problem with us Pakistanis is that we don’t think big because we are still treated like a child by our parents even in our late 20s. That’s a very wrong approach. You are not too young to have your own home or car or company! Save for something big. A thing that you definitely want but you think at this point of career, you can’t afford it. That’s the purpose of saving no? Instead of spending your savings on short-term experience, invest it for something long term. Oh I’ve changed my thinking regarding that recently and I know how effing wrong I was earlier. Think about what you really wanted to have in your life? Any major lifestyle update? Now start saving for that.
a lot smartly
Smart investments are the ones that are high risk but they yield more returns than safe investments. As a young individual, you are right now at a place where you can take a risk. I was very surprised when I learnt that most of the bitcoin billionaires were young people who took a risk without thinking too much about the pros and cons. Also, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Invest smartly like divide your portfolio. Invest in stocks of the companies that you believe in. Invest in ICOs/cryptocurrencies that you think might go up. Start with small investments until you learn but remember that experience is the only thing that is gonna teach you. No guru on the internet can make you rich! Trust yourself and start investing 🙂
These are the 5 things that changed my life. I owe it to my husband, Usama, for teaching me a few things patiently. I would love to hear what worked for you. Share away in comments below!