There are many reports out there that say Millennials are great at saving, and then there are the ones that say Millennials are really bad at saving. Either way, I think it is important to have savings habits. Habits are what allow us to achieve our goals, and our financial goals only occur by saving.
1. Work Toward Saving 10% of Your Income per Month
To some, this may sound super easy and realistic, to others this may seem like mission impossible. Your ability to save can depend on your income and spending habits. My recommendation is to look at your income, figure out what 10% of that is, then see if you can float it. If not it is time to look at what you are spending your money on and how much. Eliminate the least important items first and work forward from there. Starting at 5% may help, then increase it every quarter until you are at 10%.
2. Put Any Extra Money You Receive Into Savings
Your tax return, the bonus from your job, or even Christmas or birthday money from Grandma or Grandpa can be saved. This cash influx wasn’t expected anyway, so you can live without it. Put it toward a goal you are working on, your retirement or your investment account. Any of these options are good uses of bonus money as I like to call it. An important additional step is educating yourself on the different financial investment options so you are not wasting your money.
READ MORE: Ways to Help Perfect Your Business Budget
3. Side Hustle Money? Save It
Why do you side hustle? Usually, people side hustle because they want to live a better life. Most side hustle to afford that dream vacation, a new car or to pay for college. These are all great destinations for your side hustle money. Do your best not to include side hustle money in your living expense money. Your side hustle can be leveraged to do much more than paying for extra cocktails or the latest fashion item. Side hustle money needs to be leveraged for your financial life goals.
4. Take Advantage of Grocery Store Sales
Every grocery store always has some sort of sale or special items in stock. Take advantage of these sales. Some grocery stores make it easy through their app to create a shopping list based on their current sale. You can live off on-sale groceries and still eat healthy. Eating organic is expensive and any way to make it cheaper will help your cash flow. I encourage healthy eating, but don’t stress your budget.
READ MORE: Understanding the time value of money
5. Don’t Buy Items Just Because They Are on Sale
I know some people who see a sale and think “I should buy it since it is on sale.” This is different than, “I was planning on purchasing this in the future, but right now it is 40% off, so I should save money by purchasing it now.” Nobody should buy something just because there is a great sale going on. This is where life becomes cluttered and stressed. We live in a world of material possessions and it only adds stress when we purchase unnecessary items. Ask yourself, will this add long-term value and allow me to become a better version of myself? If it doesn’t provide value, I would not purchase it.
Saving is hard and creating savings habits can be even harder. If you put in the time to ingrain savings habits and lots of self-discipline, it will pay off. Remember to live in abundance and avoid a scarcity mindset. There is plenty of time, money and opportunity in the world, you just have to be open to it.