Spending too much? Can’t make ends meet? Living from pay cheque to pay cheque? STOP and change your ways!
Money … I can’t tell you how many ‘feels’ (that’s how the kids are styling it these days, right?) it gives me.
I feel elated when I have it; depressed when I don’t; and vindictive when I lose it. Yes, dealing with money is not an easy business and it has taken many, many years for me to learn that saving in anticipation for a rainy day, actually means that I’ll have fewer rainy days in my life.
But, how do you save? And how do you budget? Well, that’s the hard part.
Write It Down
€350 on bills; €80 on fuel; €325 on eating out; €87 on … Wait, €325 on eating out? Seriously? When you’re trying to save? When you start writing down everything you spend money on, you’ll quickly come to realise just how much of your money is spent on silly things and things you could very easily do without.
Once you know what you can give up, you will be able to come up with a sustainable and healthy budget that will allow you to lead a normal life whilst also saving some dough. It’s not always easy to cut down on fuel or bills, but when it comes to going out, you could realistically half that amount. Eat in more often, or order something from the lower range on the menu. If you stick to your budget, you’ll make it!
Define Your Priorities
Find out what’s important to you and what’s not. Saving up shouldn’t mean that you give up on everything you enjoy and live a miserable life, but if you can go out once a week instead of twice thus spending a €100 less, will it kill you?
Yes, it is possible to earn €1,500 a month and save €1,000, but who wants to live in that much austerity? Sit down and deduct the bills you can’t avoid (mortgage, water and electricity, mobile phone, etc.) and from what’s left, make sure you save 40%. The rest is yours to spend as you wish: on going out, buying stuff, holidaying …
When trying to save, always set a goal. Psychologically, it’s harder to save for something that’s not concrete or tangible. So, define what you’re saving for. Say ‘by the end of the year, I want to have €10k in the bank.’ Seeing the number go from 0 to 10,000 will make you feel warm and fuzzy inside, trust me!
Do you have any other advice to give to our readers? Do you agree with James?
Let us know in the comments section.