Saving money is part and parcel of adulthood. As we grow older, we’re overwhelmed by financial responsibilities, from paying off our student loan to monthly bills. The secret to keeping our finances in check is to save efficiently. It takes more than skipping meals or taking public transportation every day. All it takes is a few adjustments to our spending. If your goal is to save money more efficiently in your 20s, you have come to the right place.
1. Create a savings account
The best way to keep track of your savings is by creating a savings account. It’s the ultimate platform to see the amount of money that goes in and out from your pocket. If you have a few bank accounts under your name, you can designate one for personal savings and another for something you’ve always wanted to do, like travelling or setting up a business. From there, you can set a financial goal and see your savings grow instantly.
2. Cook your meals
Dining out on a regular basis can take up most of your spending money. You might step into the restaurant craving for a single main course, but ordering drinks, appetizers and desserts can add up to your final bill. Let’s not forget the taxes and service charges too. You can save money by buying ingredients and prepare your own meals. Besides flexing your kitchen skills, you can make a variety of healthy meals from vegetables, chicken fillets or salmon alone. Aside from saving a few ringgits, you’ll also become a culinary pro in no time.
3. Save discount codes or coupons
Whether you enjoy shopping for gadgets or groceries, it’s time to make discount codes and coupons your best friend. When stocking up your weekly groceries, check out their pamphlets for discounted goods. Sometimes, they would throw in a few coupons too. If you love shopping on the app or online, subscribe to their e-newsletters to get their discount codes. You can start with e-hailing rides, fast food chains, online shopping, and flight tickets. The savings may be small, but you’ll notice how much it impacts your financial growth (in a very good way!).
4. Shop during sales season
It’s hard to resist buying new shirts or dresses every now and then. For some of us, updating our style is important. The secret to saving while shopping is to do so during the sales season. Aside from the mid-year and year-end sales, keep a look out for seasonal and festive promotions like Chinese New Year, Hari Raya, Valentine’s Day and even, the famous 11.11 sale! It’s definitely the best way to save a few bucks while still looking your best.
5. Buy the things you need
Whenever you feel the urge to pick up an item and head over to the cashier, ask yourself: “Do I really need this?” It’s important to distinguish between your wants and needs. Say, you need to buy a new pair of sneakers. If you want to buy it because everyone has one, stop yourself right there and then. However, if you need to buy it because you’ve busted your current pair, go ahead. You must discipline yourself to buy the things you need, rather than the things that please your ego and desires.
6. Track your daily expenses
The ultimate way to save money efficiently is to track your daily expenses. Whether you choose to keep your receipts or jot down your expenses in a notebook, it’s good to have a visual record of what you spent and saved. From there, you can see which area you spent the most money and cut your spending. If you spent the most money on coffees, get instant coffees or make your own to take to work. If you spent too much on mobile data, find another cheaper data plan and use public Wi-Fi wherever possible. Simple budget adjustments can make a huge impact on your lifestyle.
There you have it! You’d be surprised to know that saving can be easy. Whether you found a new hobby in collecting discount codes or shopping only during sales season, these little steps will take you to where you dream to be: a thirty-something with a bank account that looks like a phone number.
What are your favourite ways to save money? Share with us in the comments below!