"A wise person should have money in their head, but not in their heart" Jonathan Swift
We all like to have fun with our money sometimes...movies, night's out, morning coffees these are the treats that help us get through the day, but indulging ourselves can start to eat away at our savings accounts more than we realize. A healthy balance between saving for the future and enjoying the present is hard to find, but not impossible.
Savings and budgeting aren't the most exciting topics of conversation but it's important to get real with your bank account and yourself before you start to plan. Living in denial might allow you to drop an extra $15 on a taxi ride out instead of taking the bus - but spending outside your means is a bad habit that is hard to change.
Set Realistic Goals...and Stick to them No Matter What
Unfortunately, you probably won't become a millionaire in a day. Setting goals for yourself is important - but make sure you are actually able to reach them! Setting unrealistic goals won't motivate you to take the steps you need to start saving...Set small achievable goals regularly; this can be monthly, weekly, or even daily! For example make a promise to make your own lunch every day for a week instead of eating out. Don't forget to reward yourself when you follow through with your goals (just don't spend too much!).
Know Where Your Money Goes and Create a Budget
Make sure that your expenses don't exceed your income! Budgeting will help you assess how much money is coming in versus going out (monthly budgets are often best for young adults). One of the most useful things about creating a budget, is that daily or weekly expenses, such as morning coffees and transit fees, that may initially seem small in value are totaled which allows you to see the gross amount you are spending on that item every month. After all - its usually the little things you do everyday that add up!
"Don't save what is left after spending, but spend what is left after saving!" Warren Buffett
Take it from billionaire Warren Buffett! It's easier to put the money you want to save away first, then spend what is left over freely not having to worry about having some left over! Knowing exactly how much money you have to spend considering how much you would like to save is important. This way you won't end up dipping into your savings!
Saving money takes time, patience, and discipline. Make a plan or budget and stick to it! But don't be discouraged if you slip up and spend extra in a day, week, or even month. Practice makes perfect.