First steps to start your savings and improve your life
Most of the time we spend on the unnecessary stuffs because we have daily habits that could be improved with planning. Here’s how you can start saving and at the same time improve some of your life routines.
Cook less, eat better and save more
It is the great advice that we all already know but we find it hard to comply. Sometimes we tend to forget it for the convenience of buying any food if we are late for work. At the time we do not see that these daily micro-decisions, accumulate and translate into overweight, lack of nutrients and future diseases.
We all have close cases of family members with diabetes, cancer and heart problems.
Avoiding eating out will help you combat poor nutrition and also start your savings. It is not easy to break this habit, because once you are hungry the only option is to satisfy it and that will lead you to eat wherever you can.
Planning is key
Prepare your food ahead of time, you don’t need to cook every day. Choose one or two days a week to prepare food that will last several days in good condition: cooked vegetables, rice, a little pasta, etc. Make a flexible, but practical menu for each day that you like.
What’s the difference if you repeat dishes most days?
When you eat out, you probably end up buying the same type of food repeatedly. Food that you don’t know how it is prepared and that has a higher profit margin for the restaurant, they will always try to cut costs on ingredients. And if you want better quality you will have to pay up to 4 times more expensive than if you had prepared it at home.
Sometimes we don’t calculate how much we spend on eating out, it’s easy to lose control. In the end, you decide how you use your money, but maybe you could make better use of it.
TIP: Don’t forget to wake up 30 minutes earlier and treat yourself to a leisurely breakfast before leaving home. From there you can start a good habit and strengthen your savings.
Change your credit cards
How many credit cards do you have? Do you improvise or have you set rules to use them properly?
Building a positive credit history is important, but having several cards can make you lose control of how you spend and end up paying the minimum and with it a lot of interest. If you fall behind, you will damage your credit history by making purchases that most of the time, could have waited, or that were made on impulse and did not add much value to your life.
Not to mention that every year you will have to pay annuity for one or more of your cards. And even if you earn points with them, you know that you must use them a lot so that the points compensate the annuity payment at least.
Also remember that there are financial products (e.g. credit card) that does not charge annuity.
The issue is that proactively most banks do not promote e.g. do not show it openly on their websites. You have to research further and request it in a branch, showing security, because you know they have such a product.
Take advantage of your bank. Free yourself from debt and allocate the money to your best objective.
Keep your promises, you deserve it
This is the hard part of saving, being consistent and delivering what we promise ourselves. We like to live in the moment, enjoy the present “that’s what we work for, right?”. But a little effort can make a difference in your future without sacrificing your present.
Your secret weapon is to create a budget, define how you want to spend the money earned. If that includes moving house, cooking at home, not drinking coffee in establishments, or even using the car less so you can accomplish what you want most, do it.
Now there are applications that help you control your expenses which allows you to link your bank accounts to have all your financial information in one place. You only register your expenses so you can have a more complete picture and make better decisions.
Saving is not impossible or difficult, the biggest obstacle is to know what we spend and why, stay in control and be patient for a better present and future.
I am Nikesh Mehta, owner and writer of this site.
I’m an analytics and digital marketing professional and also love writing on finance and technology industry during my spare time. I’ve done online course in Financial Markets and Investment Strategy from Indian School of Business. I can be reached at [email protected] or LinkedIn profile.