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How to control your spending and have more money to save

Inside:

  • Calculate how much you spend on wants every month
  • Know your weak points
  • Control your spending in a planned manner. Take baby steps.

Most of us know the benefit of saving, and we all aspire to save more money. More money saved means more power to fulfill your financial goals. It is evident that your financial goals will not be the same as your colleague or friend and that is perfectly okay. You may have the goal of going on a bike tour throughout India, or you may want to have a dream honeymoon in Europe. To fulfill it, you will need to have money saved.

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And saving a decent sum of money every month may be the hardest thing to do for a lot of people. It is especially true if you are staying alone in a big city or if you have recently joined the workforce.

But before we dig into the ways to save more money, let us understand why it is essential to control spending to save more money.

Income

One part of the cash flow is income. Income composes of your salary and other additional income, whether it is through a part-time job or high yielding investments.    

A critical feature of the income is that it is limited. There is a limit to how much you can earn at a particular time. Salaried people don’t have a lot of control over the income; it is essential to control the spending if you want to save more.

Spending

Spending can be divided into two parts: fixed costs and discretionary spending. Fixed costs include rent, electricity and other utility bills. These costs are likely to remain the same throughout the months. So, cutting fixed costs may not be very feasible for everyone.

At last, we come to discretionary spending. Clothing beyond the necessities, eating out, vacations are all a part of wants. And if you want to save more, then you have to cut down on these expenses. For example, you can buy an entire month’s grocery (if you are single then three months) with the amount of money that you will spend by eating out twice.

Calculate how much you spend on these items every month. If you have paid for these items with bank debit or credit cards, then you can quickly check how much you have spent on these items.

Go to your bank’s online banking and download three month’s bank statement. Do this on the weekend with a friend with whom you go out the most. You can do this alone, but doing this with a friend makes it enjoyable. Open the bank statement on excel and highlight these spends. However, you won’t find most of the entries with the name of the place. For example, if you went for breakfast to McDonald’s, your bank statement will show it as Hardcastle Restaurants. So, if you come across any name that you are not familiar with, a single google search will help you to ascertain where you had spent the money.      

In this respect, the spending pattern will vary from individual to individual. When you go through your account statements, you will know your weak spots. It may be going to the spa, buying clothes, drinking or booking a hotel room all for you. The point is to find the source of leakage and fix it. You will be surprised how much money you have spent on all these unnecessary things in a month.

Also, one of the vital money-draining habits, especially among young adults, is socialising over drinks. Drinking at a pub or in a bar is extremely expensive. Most people have an urge to shop for clothes when it is on sale, even when they don’t need it.  

We understand that completely giving up on these things may not possible. Hence, you can take the step by step process or take baby steps. For example, if you go clubbing four times a month, make it two. Or at least three. These incremental changes can be more long-lasting, helping you save more money without actually making you feel bad for the experience.  

If you still think that you won’t be able to save money, transfer a little amount of money say Rs.500 in a different savings account. A different savings account will put the money out of your sight and at the same time, you can easily withdraw the money like a regular savings account. You can easily make a digital account in minutes. Gradually, increase the amount. If you didn’t touch the Rs. 500, then you can transfer Rs.750 or Rs.1,000 in the next month.

By following these steps, you can have more money to save without making yourself feel insufficient or that you are not enjoying life.

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