10 Ways To Effectively Save For the Future
Our wants and desires often get in the way of creating financial freedom. But instead of letting money take control of us, we must take control of our money
If you could look into the future and see that something bad is going to happen, surely you would start saving up money from this very moment, right? Be it an incident like the pandemic, losing your job, a medical emergency, or something else; if you knew it's inevitable, you would start saving.
But the fact that we can't see our future is even more of a reason that everyone should save money. Of course, building this habit is not an easy one. Our wants and desires often get in the way of creating financial freedom. But instead of letting money take control of us, we must take control of our money.
While the core principle to save money is about not spending it, here are ten effective ways you can save for the future:
Change your lifestyle
To start saving money, you must have money to save. Most people are unable to do this because they try to live above their means. Knowing how much you earn and identifying your needs and wants will help you create a better lifestyle. You don't have to live like a monk, but narrow down on all the extra expenditure you don't need. Spend only on your needs and a few things that really make you happy.
As the saying goes, "If you don't plan, then you're planning to fail." Set short-term and long-term savings goals. Figure out how much you can save each month and set a realistic goal accordingly. Short-term goals can be anywhere from a few months to a couple of years, whereas long-term saving goals should be for more than five years.
Establish separate savings funds
Savings can be of many different types. Emergency funds, travel funds, education funds, etc. Create different types of savings jars for different purposes. Doing this is in line with the aspect of setting a savings goal. Not only should your goal be specific to how much you are saving, but also what purpose you're saving it for.
Save when you receive money
A big mistake that people make is that they try to save money at the end of the month when they've depleted most of it. What you should do instead is make it a habit to save money when you receive it. Probably when you get your salary at the beginning of the month, you can set up automatic transfers from a checking account to a savings account on a particular date of your choice. This way, you religiously save money before you get the chance to spend it on anything else.
Make it difficult to use your saved money
The most difficult part of saving money is avoiding the urge to withdraw it from your account and use it. To avoid this, you need to build a sense of responsibility within yourself and use other tactics that make it difficult for you to access the money. You can probably do this by saving in a completely separate bank account without a debit card so you can't access it easily.
Choosing the right type of savings account
If you plan to save money in a bank's savings account, you should know the different types and choose the one most suitable according to your goals:
Regular savings account: This is the most common type of savings account which offers the lowest interest rates but easy access to money. You should use this type of account for something like an emergency fund.
A certificate of deposit: This type of account has the highest rate of interest among savings accounts but has certain restrictions. You will not be able to withdraw money for a fixed period which is called "a term'. If you want to remove it immediately, you would have to pay a penalty. They also tend to have a higher minimum balance.
Create a budgeting rule
A budgeting rule is nothing but segmenting your entire income into different categories with regards to how much you will spend on them. For example, a common budgeting technique that many people follow is the 50-30-20 rule, where 50 per cent of your income is used for your needs, 30 per cent for wants, and 20 per cent for savings and investments. You can play around with this ratio and adjust it according to your circumstances.
Use the 30-day rule
If you want to buy something, wait for 30 days. After 30 days, if you still want to buy it, go ahead. Chances are that most of the things we want to buy at the moment are just wants. You should avoid them as much as possible.
Investments can also be considered a form of saving money if you know the right things to invest in. Technically, you are saving money for the future when you invest in assets that appreciate over time.
While you may retire 20, 30, or 40 years later, your retirement fund is what you should start right away. If you're an Indian citizen, you should check out the NPS fund.
If you're reading this right now, you're more fortunate than most people in the world. So when life gives you lemons, make lemonade, sell it, and save that money.