Are you a forward-thinking, conservative Singaporean who's been socialized into accepting the notion of saving money as one very important virtue of mankind? If you've involuntarily nodded to that and you've been keeping up with the act of saving, give yourself a pat on the back! On the contrary, if you've been spending just because your sense of fulfilment is contingent on how much you're spending on yourself and your loved ones, perhaps it's time you relook this mentality of yours.
Whether you like it or not, money is an important part of our lives and we definitely cannot live without money. Without savings, how are we supposed to live with peace of mind? Here are 5 easy ways to get yourself into a money-saving mode that we at GET.com have rounded up to get you started off if you belong to the camp that needs a leg-up!
5 Easy Ways To Get Yourself Into A Money-Saving Mode
1. Quantify Each Potential Purchase By Computing How Many Work Hours It Requires Of You
Don't get me wrong, we all deserve to treat ourselves and our loved ones to something nice and wonderful from time to time, but spending mindlessly isn't a sensible thing to do regardless of how wealthy one is monetarily.
An easy way to make yourself think twice or thrice before making that purchase is to get yourself thinking how much the item you've been lusting after costs in terms of the number of hours that you have to work for it.
For instance, if the Chanel bag that you've set your eyes and heart on costs $5000, and you earn $20 an hour, this bag essentially requires you to slog it out for 250 work hours. Now, that doesn't seem so ethereal after all, right?
This is a pretty good tip to get you thinking and rethinking your spending. Can you imagine how much money you'll end up saving simply by tricking your brain into telling yourself to stop spending unnecessarily, especially on extravagant items.
If you tend to overspend, check out these 5 simple tips to help big spenders become thrifty.
2. Make Money-Saving Fun
Foremost, set a realistic goal. Most people don't make millions of dollars a month, so don't beat yourself over it if you can't stick to saving 90% of your take-home-pay. Money-saving can be fun only if you intend it to be.
Don't think that you'll need to skip out on doing fun things just because you've set your mind to save money! There are many ways to have fun without spending a lot of money in Singapore.
Map out your income and set goals that you must save for whether it be your marriage with your college sweetheart, your first home (see how much money you need for your first HDB flat here), your child's education funds, your retirement funds, your parents' retirement funds so on and so forth.
But make this journey a fun one by rewarding yourself with things that make you happy to keep you going stronger, better.
Start off by establishing small, achievable steps that will motivate you to keep going on. Set dates by which you'd need to have a certain amount of money stashed in your bank, say $X000 by the end of 6 months and $YY,000 by the end of 12 months. From the $YY,000 that you've saved, limit yourself to using only a certain percentage of it to reward yourself.
If you like to travel to somewhere new, go ahead and explore the world! If you fancy the idea of rewarding yourself with a fun staycation with your family, book a room somewhere nice. Keep in mind your budget for all these, of course.
Even though these will cost you money, don't see these rewards as thwarting your money-saving plans. When you've got something to look forward to, the drive to keep on going is naturally stronger!
3. Save Every $5 Bill That Comes Into Your Possession
This is a no-brainer if only you'll remember to do it. It may not seem like much, but I guarantee you that by the end of 12 months from the day you resolved to save every $5 bill that comes into your possession, you would have a pretty significant amount of savings stashed in the jar almost painlessly just like how you used to drop loose change into your piggy banks when you were younger.
If you are more ambitious, you can try saving every $10 or $50 bill that comes your way though I suppose it's a whole lot more challenging because we use bills of these denominations to pay for things all the time. And these are the denominations that we typically get when we make a withdrawal at the ATM.
And unless you're ultra wealthy to start with, you probably won't have bigger bills in denominations of $500, $1000 and $10,000 stashed in your wallet frequently. So, saving every $5 bill is the most doable and feasible in my humble opinion.
Here are 16 smart money-saving tips to get you started.
4. Set New Rules For Yourself And Stick To Them
If you're a chronic shopaholic who is finally trying to change your old ways, you can start off by setting new rules and/or mantras for yourself when it comes to shopping. Just make sure you stick to them conscientiously and don't play cheat!
Such rules are set by yourself, for yourself, so you can tailor them to curb your own spending behaviour accordingly.
For instance, an individual who is addicted to buying new apparel and accessories following the ever changing fashion trends can tell herself that she'll only buy them when they are on sale and make do with the fact that they probably won't be trending anymore. If they aren't on sale, they wouldn't stand a chance at all.
Although easier said than done, you just have to get the ball rolling and start making an effort if you are genuine in wanting to keep your expenditure on unnecessary wants in check.
5. Visualize How You Want The Older Version Of You To Be Like
I suppose you won't want to be stressing out about money when you're old and wrinkly. I don't know about you, but I know I wouldn't want to be cleaning tables at hawker centres or sweeping floors just to tide things over every month.
And if I'm working just to kill time and be purportedly useful in society, I wouldn't mind being a guide at a museum or even a librarian since I don't see my love for reading dying anytime soon (p.s. I'm only 24 this year).
Well, I can't control how healthy or sickly I will be but I would like to think that I'll be able to afford my own travels and expenditure while globetrotting across the world with my future old man if I'm in good health.
Everything costs money, so if I want to lead a fancy lifestyle like that when I'm old, I know I have to set aside money and save up for retirement.
Yes, everybody ought to save up for rainy days. We never know when nasty illnesses will leach onto us and take a toll on our health and bank accounts. So, once in a while, we should all take some time to think about how we want our future to be like.