Is frugality a habit or a way of living? It might be hard to tell, but one thing is for sure — if you spend less money, you will have more money left. Frugality might not make you rich, although you would be surprised to hear that some of the richest people in the world, like Mark Zuckerberg, Warren Buffett, and Bill Gates, have some surprisingly frugal habits.
But if a frugal lifestyle is not your prefered way of saving money, what else could you do? It turns out — plenty. The amount of money you have and are able to save is directly related to how much you are able to earn, and how little you are able to spend. And if there is no room to boost earnings, your savings will have to come from reduced spending.
Keeping Money Saving Interesting
Saving money is never fun, especially when you have to give up buying the things you really need or want. You will get that rewarding feeling when you realize that you have successfully saved some money. But by then, you will have to go through a lot of self-disciplining in order to meet your goals.
The number one thing you can to make it easier for yourself is to make saving money challenging, or game-like. Your goal is to attach any positive trait you can think of to your money-saving process. For example, you can set challenges for yourself, such as saving a certain amount of money in a certain amount of time. Make saving money about something more than just numbers.
Careful planning is an effective way of taking control over your spending habits. In most cases, developing a spending plan — also known as a budget — will be very helpful. It is also easier than it sounds because you can find plenty of online resources that will help you develop a good plan.
Planning your budget also means planning your activities. Take cooking for an example. If you plan your food budget, you should also make a meal plan every week, and determine how much money you can spend to feed yourself. If you really want to save some money, you should eat at home more.
Good Spending Habits
Your ability to stay disciplined will determine your success at saving money. No matter how great the budget you develop is, if you do not stick with it, you might as well throw it into the trash. And you should not think that small things do not count — everything adds up, even the small unplanned expenses.
You should create certain rules that will help you rein in your spending. For example, whenever you are not sure you want to buy something, don’t. You can also change the things you buy, and stop accumulating so many possessions and focus more on experiencing things.
Put Your Savings First
What are you saving the money for? If it is for retirement, then you probably have a 401(k). You can also have personal savings account in the bank if you are saving for anything else. You can have a piggy bank if you like, it does not matter because filling up whatever you use to save money should be a priority for spending.
Your savings should come first, right in there with utilities bill and gas money. Maxing out your 401(k) can help you save even more money, so you should try doing that first. For other places where you can put away your money, set a quota and do nothing until you have filled it.
Having savings on your mind all the time is a difficult, yet rewarding habit. You should seriously think about developing it before any other because it will give you the drive and determination you will need to make difficult choices. Arm yourself with patience and discipline, and find joy in every goal you meet.