Even if you’ve worked hard to find and secure a regular position, you may still be frustrated with how to make your salary go the distance and still put some money away each month. Saving money is something we all know we should do, but when faced with so many of life’s day to day problems, it can be easy to forget just how important it is. Here are some easy ways to start saving now.
Just do it – no matter how small
A lot of people think that if they only have a little to save, they might as well not bother. But this is a counterproductive way of thinking – even if you can only save a little, do it anyway and you’ll eventually accumulate a small nest egg.
How much should you save from your salary?
An important thing to figure out is how much you should actually save from your salary. An easy, intuitive way to do this is to follow the 50/30/20 budget rule.
The 50/30/20 Rule
This rule states that you should up to 50% of your after tax salary on things or obligations you need to do. The next 30% should be spent on things you want. Finally 20% of your salary should go toward savings.
As an example if you came home with R10,000 each month:
- R5000,00 would go toward obligations like rent, electricity, water etc.
- R3000,00 toward something you want i.e eating out, gadgets, clothing etc
- R2000,00 can be placed in savings account.
You can of course switch up the rule to your liking and perhaps be able to save even more from your budget.
Know where you stand
Speak to your employer about unemployment fund payments so you have a good understanding of the amounts deducted from your wages. Make sure you have a savings account opened and vow never to touch it unless there’s an emergency.
Look into rewards programmes
If you regularly shop at one store, look into getting a benefits or discount card there – the savings really do add up. Pick ‘n Pay, Dischem, Clicks and others all have membership programmes that are worth it if you shop there often. Plan your shopping trips around sales days or take advantage of discounts when you see them.
Make saving a priority
Saving isn’t something to do at the end of the month after you’ve spent everything. Instead, put away a set amount the exact moment you get paid your salary and then budget your money from there. When you just imagine that your saved money doesn’t even exist, it’s easier to leave it alone and let it grow.
Keep a piggy bank
It may seem silly at first, but having a physical reminder of your savings goal is a great way to stay on track. Empty your pockets at the end of each day and those few coins will soon start to add up.
Don’t carry cash
Shop wisely and with a plan. It’s easier to overspend when you have cash on you, so only keep a small amount and then avoid shopping malls unless you have something specific you need to get.
Buy in Bulk
Bulk stores are a great way to save money and if you can pool together with friends or family, you can buy even bigger and save more. This takes planning, though, so make sure you have a good idea of your family’s needs over the course of a month.
Saving isn’t a complicated thing to do, but it does take some self discipline. Like any other habit, it just takes time to train yourself to save reliably each month. You’ll feel so much better knowing that you’ve built a safety net for all of life’s unexpected events.