Wonder why saving money is considered an art? Like any time-honored art form, like the most beautiful, breathtaking masterpieces in the world, saving and the creative process demands one thing: practice.
It’s not enough to do it once or twice. You need to perfect it. You won’t get it right the first time so you’ve to take it step by step. You’ve to finger-paint first before you can use the paintbrush. You’ve to use primary colors before you can blend them into different shades.
Like painting or any kind of artistic venture, saving isn’t an overnight process. Below are a few things to remember so you could master the art of saving money too—long though the time it may take:
1) You don’t need instant satisfaction.
This goes for two things: your spending habits, and the sum of your savings account.
a. Spending Habits:
A new appliance, a stress-free day at the spa, or that mobile phone you’ve been waiting for just came out in the market—you will see or hear of certain things you will want to buy. That’s what businessmen want you to do, after all. They want you to buy everything you want. Always ask yourself if it’s something you actually need. Weigh the pros and cons before making a purchase.
b. Your Savings Account:
Now, it’s normal to want fast results, especially if you’re making plenty of sacrifices. However, if you see that your savings account isn’t living up to your expectations, don’t beat yourself up over it. As mentioned above, saving money takes time and baby steps. Lower the targets you’re aiming for and only gradually increase those targets to make sure you always reach what you aim for. That way, you’ll feel like you accomplished something every time you reach your goal, which in turn, will inspire you to continue until you’ve made a habit out of saving.
2) Pick quality vs quantity.
A lot of people love to shop in bulk. Everyone just loves cheaper items, especially the ones on sale! However, are you getting items that’ll break or rot overnight? Let’s say you purchased a new furniture set, are you sure you’re getting your money’s worth? If you got it at a cheap price, are you sure it’ll last for a good amount of time or at least serve its purpose? Sometimes, you might be compromising long-term use for money saved short term.
This means you’ll have to invest your money on the right things. Items on sale or by the dozen could be a ruse to make you spend money for goods and services that won’t last very long. On the other hand, if you’re buying something costly with lasting use in mind, make sure these items come along with excellent warranty conditions.
3) Mind the little things.
Some people might just tell you not to sweat the small stuff, and if you listen to them, then your savings account won’t likely grow any time soon. Making little adjustments in your life is the key to save money the easy way. For instance, it might be your daily visit to Starbucks that’s draining your allowance and hindering your efforts to save. And do you really need to call a cab whenever you go out? What about those regular weekend dates or parties? Why don’t you start living without them?
These things aren’t always evil at first glance, but they’ll eventually wear you out, and destroy your resolve to save. To avoid this, have a budget, or plan your purchases in advance.
4) Wise credit card use.
Just as you know how to save your cash and coins, it’s most important to know how to use your credit card with extra care. To enjoy perks or benefits, consider getting a rewards card. However, make sure you practice the following:
• After purchasing something, pay the item back in full in the next 2-3 months
• Pay above the minimum so the debt won’t grow
• Don’t use your card to make sudden purchases like food or clothes
• Don’t open new accounts and just focus on one account to increase your credit score
Mastering the art of saving money is very doable. For as long as you keep on practicing these principles every single day, you’re certain to see great results—sooner rather than later. So, good luck and happy saving to you!
Mark Yasay is a social media enthusiast and a writer for MoneyMax, the Philippines most comprehensive online platform for comparing financial and telecom products. MoneyMax aims to consistently find the best broadband plans, credit cards, loans, and other services and products that suit your needs.