If you are reading this, congrats for making the first step! When it comes to make and save money fast, first thing first is to recognize the necessity to manage your personal finance so that you can really make a change in your first few months. Whether you like to manage money or not, you just can’t avoid this because money is basically everywhere. So, if you are already part of this society game, the only thing you can do is to master it! To make it less complicated, I will share the main two parts – How to save money fast & How to make money fast! Enjoy!
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Why you have to save money?
Before diving into the ways to save money, allow me to remind your WHY because this can really make you stick with your goals during those rough days! If you just save money because you simply love saving, the process can’t be as efficient as truly understand your “WHY”. Just like GPS, if you set up the exact location, the GPS can always seamlessly bring you to the place. But if you set up the location as vague as ” Somewhere in Boston”, well, you may need 15 days to find that house.
That’s why having a strong reason for you to save money can really make thing way easier and here are the 2 reason to remind you!
1. Set up emergency fund
If you don’t have emergency fund yet, well, congrats because you now have a VERY STRONG and VALID reason to save money now!
This should be the most important thing when it comes to personal finance but a lot of people just skip this step and directly dive into investing, which is SO WRONG. If you don’t have an emergency fund, you should set up this ASAP. Having an emergency fund can be the difference between a small financial bump for half a year and an unbearable disaster in your life. Saving up to 6 months’ expense as an emergency can really effectively insures against life’s unexpected expenses.
Now let me explain to you.
For some people, they will invest all their saved money because they think it is the fastest and smartest way to accumulate wealth. While I do agree to invest can be a really good way (if you do it in a right), but if you left no money after you pay your bills, insurance, and investment, a high chance is that you have no extra money when something big happened and that feeling is just terrifying.
What if your car is broken and you need to buy a new car? What if your mum is so sick in hospital and you have to pay the medical fee despite the fee insurance covered? What if you lose your job due to company restructuring?
You may think, well, it’s easy. All I need is selling all my stocks and bonds and now I have money to live by again! While this can be a way ( actually it’s not), we all know stock market have highs and lows, if you are forced to sell all the stocks, high chance is you are selling it in a low price and you can end up losing so much money ( This happens to me before so I really know that pain).
Let’s sink in for a moment. The reason for you to buy stocks in the first place is for the long term capital accumulation, but now you are losing money just because you don’t have the emergency fund, isn’t that super dumb?
And now you may think, well, it’s fine I can borrow money from the bank. No, please don’t. Once you start borrowing money, the debt can be like a snowball effect and that’s the point you realized how scary to get into debt is. Debt can add up really fast and this will greatly affect you and your family on many different levels.
I really hope you can now realised the importance of saving money for emergency fund, this can be a buffer zone when you need money and avoid the possible terrible financial disaster that may drag you for years!
2. Freedom, Freedom and freedom
At the end of the day, money is just a tool for us in achieving our financial freedom and also personal freedom. Money itself can’t bring us happiness because it is just a tool! Even if you have the Emergency fund now (CONGRATS!), you may still stick to a 9-5 job that drains your energy every day, you can’t go to that family vacation that you know that will be a valuable experience, you still couldn’t afford that business programme you want for so long because you don’t really have extra money left.
We deserve to live our life to the fullest and if you dedicated to breaking these miserable circumstances, below are the tips on how to save money and also make money!
HOW TO SAVE MONEY
1. Start tracking every dollar that you earn
When it comes to saving money, we have to know our money sources! Despite your full-time job salary, maybe you have a part-time job or have an Etsy store or you are doing some freelance on Fiverr account. Even if you don’t have any part-time, every time when you have some money inflow like birthday money or money you get earn after selling from eBay, you should mark it down.
There are two reasons for doing this.
First, when you start tracking your money, you have a clearer picture of how much you earn and this allows you to start budgeting. It makes you more financially aware of how much you should spend after knowing your monthly earnings. The clearer the tracking is, the easier for you to do the financial planning of the month
Second, this makes you value the money more! When we start tracking the money, our brain system will feel awarded every time when we write down the income source, whether it is big or small. In the long term, this tracking practice can train your brain to have a stronger sense of accomplishment when it comes to earning money. We all know that motivation doesn’t last long. But for this little tracking, this can make you more eager to earn money and more painful when you spend money out because you have trained your brain! When you start tracking money for a few months, you will realize you are more rational when it comes to spending money!
2. Don’t online shopping at night / when you are extremely tired
Instead of shopping at night, I really recommended you shop at weekend morning to minimize the impulsive purchase. I am really excited to share this hacks to you because this work for me so well!
We, as humans, won’t have limitless energy and willpower throughout the day and this is extremely normal. When we wake up in the morning, commute 30 minutes to the company and deal with all the working tasks. You will be so exhausted when you back home after the long day. According to Harvard Business Review, Harvard Professor Francesca Gino stated in 2016 that Cognitive fatigue is a very common condition that results from the sustained engagement that taxes your mental resources. She suggests that don’t make important decisions at night.
After knowing this, I stop online shopping at night and instead I change this to weekend mornings, the time I feel refreshed and my mind is clear after enough sleep. I especially avoid the Friday night ( We all know anything crazy happens on Friday night ) and the first few days after the payday. After 3 months, I realized that my frequencies of impulsive purchasing has been greatly reduced! All the things I purchased are the things I need or the things at a reasonable price!
This hack can really save you some serious money! Go try it!
3. Don’t buy dumb things
We always ignore the things that cost not so much and this is the place where all expenses add up in long term. If you make a list and write down what things you won’t buy anymore this year, you can end up saving some decent money and you will feel so proud at the end of the year! Below are the things I don’t buy and I feel like my life is easier now.
A. Water bottle
Not only is bottled water extremely bad for the environment but it is also one of the dumbest things to spend money on! I mean, they suppose to be free if we are willing to fill up the water bottle from the tap!
To avoid having to buy bottled water when you’re out and about (or at work) I recommend buying a stainless steel vacuum insulated bottle and carry it with you everywhere you go. This will keep your cold water cold for hours + plus they look adorable!
In my daily life, I usually bring my own stainless steel water bottle around so that’s no big problem. But I realized when I go travel, I end up buying so many water bottles every day! The reason is we all know that for some countries, their water may add some additives that we don’t really prefer. Also, I know some people are not a big fan of the taste of tap water. This water bottle is the one I bring during vacations every time! This LifeStraw Go Water Filter Bottles that reduces chlorine taste and odor and any other additives found in your tap water. I don’t know why this water filter bottles seems always out of stock, but at least you can save it to the wish list if you can’t buy it now!
I’ve been using the first water bottle for 8 months and the second water bottle for more than one year now. I can’t believe how much that saves me! And it feels extremely good that I am not doing anything bad to the environment (I do feel a little bit of pain every time when I buy water bottle)
Subscription is a super strategy to earn A LOT OF money because companies know how lazy people can be… and they are right. Once we subscribe a thing, most of the time we just don’t bother to cancel even we don’t really use the services anymore.
This August, I just canceled the Spotify Premium and I really regret why I didn’t do this sooner. In my normal working days, it’s true that I use Spotify to listen to podcasts and music every day and I am happy to pay my monthly fee. However, during these few months, I am basically working at home and seldom go out during the quarantine. At home, I already subscribed to the YouTube Premium and I don’t use Spotify at all! So I am wasting $9.99 x 4 months = $ 40 that could have been avoided.
So please, you guys, check your bills and delete the unnecessary subscriptions now. The process may be not easy (some companies will make the cancellation extra complicated and hope that you will give up) but you have to do it! I mean, they are real money!
C. Extended Warranty’s On Electrical Products
I really hope this is a new tip for you! When I realize the extended warranty is actually not really that useful and I stop paying these extra fees, this saves me A LOT of money.
Every time when we buy electronic applications or products, we were offered to extend the warranty on it by a few extra years. If the laptop itself was $1200, the existing warranty was 2 years, if we decided the extend the warranty that will be an extra $250 for 3 years warranty.
While we always get a false illusion that we are “wise” to extend the warranty because we can save some fixing fees few years down the road. Let’s sink in for a second, what is the last time when you successfully use the extended warranty. There are few reasons that we seldom utilise the warranty at all.
Reason 1: We don’t even have chance to use it because we end up buying a new laptop after 2 years already
We all know how fast new technology products pop up after just one or two seasons. While you think your new laptop gets all the functions and you are really satisfied with it. In just a short 1 or 2 years, you may already be tempted to buy another laptop for the extra functions. We always overestimate how long we are actually using that product and we end up spending extra $750 but not utilise it, what a waste!
Reason 2: You can’t find back the warranty paper
I know this is dumb but I am not kidding! Let’s not forget that warranty paper is already 3 years ago and there’s a high chance you can’t even find it. For some situations, you can still claim the money / send to their fixing center even you lost that warranty certification. But I know for some cases, if you can’t find it, they will require you to pay the extra fee. I promise you this will make you really mad.
Reason 3: The coverage of the warranty is actually limited
For most of the cases, the warranty is only useful if the product itself is faulty. If you break your laptop (like a toddler pushing it over), the warranty doesn’t really cover that! These are usually covered by your house insurance. But in this way, why are you still paying an extra $250 for that warranty that does no good for you at all?
I hope I explained well enough for you to reconsider should you really want to pay for the extra warranty when you buy your electronic things next time. They are very costly and definitely NOT THAT USEFUL!
4. Pay Real cash instead of pay credit card
Try switching up a cash-only method! According to the New York Times Business and other research shows, that it is actually painful that you give out the actual dollar bill than just using the credit card. If you don’t have any cashback/ special discount on your credit card, I strongly suggest you pay your things in real cash and you will suddenly become so rational and analyze should you really need to buy this thing! In most cases, you are not!
5. Set up the automatic saving deposit
As I always said, people are incredibly…lazy and that’s why setting up automatic saving deposit can be extremely useful! Trust me, you may be even too lazy to take those deposit out to spend. Plus, whether you remember to save money or not, the bank will automatically put one part of your money so that you’re saving money whether you remember or not.
6. Learn your insurance package well
Insurance can be complicated but it’s totally worth it to look at the details so that you can know how to utilize it! Last year, I did a thorough body check due to some health issues. I paid the body check myself because I don’t think my insurance will cover a body check. But guess what, after a few months when I chatted with my agent, she just told me they do offer a free body check for the clients who bought the premium medical plan!
“Life is tough. It’s tougher if you’re stupid.” I really have nothing to say… the body check costs me $300…
So please, learn your insurance package well and please fully utilise it! Don’t be like me!
7. Use the roundup app!
If you feel like you don’t have extra money to save, start using the roundup app when purchase! One example is, you buy a $3.75 coffee with your debit or credit card, then the purchase is automatically rounded up to the nearest whole number =3. By then, you have the extra 25 cents diverted to savings.
It’s true that this tiny little money won’t make you a fortune but this is the habit of money saving that matters! It’s really important to build the momentum!
If you would like to know more about the round up apps, feel free to read the best 5 best round up apps from Forbes.
8. Cut out some unnecessary expenses
One example is the expense of using a dryer. While it is really convenient to use, is that really necessary and environment friendly to do that? If you are in a rush in the morning and you need that suit, it’s totally fine to use the dryer. Otherwise, consider hanging the clothing up on the clothes line like this one. I really think this is a meaningful way to cut out some electricity expense!
Another way is cutting out some vehicles expense. Vehicles expense can really add up so quickly and most of the time, we spend some unnecessary money! we all know cars have many problems that seem unsolvable, while directly call a mechanic for help, maybe you should first google it! Take some time to learn some basic concept of an engine can really helps! I am not kidding here, you can literally solve some of the problems if you use some time to figure it out. Nowadays, youtube has all sorts of tutorials on how to fix a car and I am sure they help.
But of course, not all of the problems can be solve, call your mechanic for some complicated issues!
9. Order food online instead of shopping in supermarket
Order food online is another saving money hack.
When you shop around the supermarket (especially when you are hungry), everything seems so tempting and it’s not surprising that you buy few more snacks or potato chips. What’s more, the design of the supermarket is always tricky but most of the people don’t aware of at all. They usually will lead you walk through every corner of the supermarket before you finally arrive the cashier, the chance is you may buy more than what you ACTUALLY need.
Instead, you can shop online and pick it up directly at the store! So you can purchase the thing as you exactly expected and this can also save you a lot of time from queueing and processing.
This hack can really makes your life easier!
10. Borrow instead of purchase
We are too used to buying things that we forgot we can simply just borrow!
Of course, not everything can be borrowed but when it comes to some tools that you only used once, borrowing is definitely a better way!
One common example is ladder. Ladder is definitely not the thing we use often, we may use it when we have to fix the light bulb or something and we will forget there’s a ladder in our house for the rest of the months. In this case, instead of buying a ladder (I just searched from Amazon it costs on average $200… which is quite costly), you should definitely ask around your friends and relatives first! )
Sometimes, borrowing is a much better way and can save you incredible amount of money!
Or else, consider buy the used items from eBay, the price can be as low as 20% of the original price while its condition is extremely good! It’s also very satisfying when you grab a good deal!
11. Hang out with the friends that have proper personal finance concept
This is the last point to save money and again, this is the point where people overlook again.
Saving money is not an easy thing. You do need a very clear mindset and willpower to actually saving some real money. The last thing you need is some bad influence to drag you down! If you know some of your close friends are spending money like crazy and always encourage you to buy things and the reason being is “You only live once, enjoy the moment”! Guess what, that will be extremely hard for you to save money because no matter how hard you tried, subconsciously you will get influenced by them. If you heard of an average of 5, you will understand what I mean.You become like the 5 people you spend the most time with. Choose carefully. Click To Tweet
Instead, you should stick with the people who are also aiming at the financial freedom and saving money with meaningful intention. That way, you will feel way more easier on your saving money journey.
I know it can be hard to stay away from your friends, you don’t have to cut them off but really, meet them less. You have to filter out the bad influence to make your life easier. It sounds cruel but this definitely helps!
All right, so there are 11 ways to REALLY save money! I decided to explain it in detail so it’s more likely for you the really implement these tips! Being in control of your finances is a great stress reliever and actually it’s so satisfying and fun to look for these creative ways to save money!The art is not in making money, but in keeping it. Click To Tweet
At the end of the day, saving money isn’t about being able to buy bigger and better things. But deep down in everyone’s heart, it’s always about being arranged to take care of your family. As long as you remember these powerful “WHY” , you can do it :’) !
Can’t believe I end up spending 5 hours in writing this 3500 words ( What a slow writer), but I hope this article is informative enough for you to pin it and give me a thumbs up in the bottom left corner! (if you are using the phone right now :p ) It can help more people have the chance to implement these tips!