We all know the importance of saving money. But when we have bills, loans, groceries and other things to pay for, saving up often becomes a struggle.
By the time we want to set aside some money for savings, we’d have spent what we have left on things that we feel we deserve such as watching the movies, eating out, shopping and etc.
Now, I’m not saying it’s wrong to want to spend on yourself. After all, you work hard to earn the money. But you cannot deny the importance of saving up.
You need savings not only for your retirement (which is a long term goal) but also to help with unexpected emergencies such as accidents and illnesses.
So here are three steps to saving 30% of your salary every month.
Step 1: Create A Separate Account In A Different BankWhen you open this new account, try to get the passbook instead of the ATM card. This is to prevent you from withdrawing cash easily. Also, choose not to have internet banking or to get the token.
This is step 1 because of the psychological impact it will have on your mind. By opening a separate bank account, it’s a signal that you’re ready to start saving. This is a commitment that you have to follow through.
Step 2: Draw Up A Budget PlanNext, you need to sit down and list all the necessary things you have to pay for.
This will include your bills (electricity, water, mobile plan, internet etc), loans, groceries, insurance, and other household necessities (toiletries, baby food, diaper etc).
If there are other things that you have to set aside money for on a monthly basis, such as your top-up value for EZ-link or a class you’re taking, or even giving your parents pocket money, include them in your budget plan as well.
Once you have finalized your budget plan, you’ll know roughly how much you’re left with each month. Say you earn S$1800 net (after CPF deduction), and your total monthly budget plan amounts to S$1200; you’re then left with S$600.
I know it’s tempting to want to cry and think how can you save up with just so little. However, the point is not to save up a lot, but just to save money consistently.
This is why having a fixed amount set aside is important. And instead of guessing how much to save e.g. S$100, S$200 and etc., just go with a percentage that most financial advisers recommend, which is 30%.
So with S$600 left, saving up 30% of it will amount to S$180. That’s actually a healthy figure.
Step 3: Set Up Automated DeductionNow that you’ve determined how much to save up monthly, the third step is to set up an automated deduction. Log in to your primary bank account and set up a monthly transfer of S$180 on your payday to your new savings account.
This way, before you start paying for your bills, you’re already S$180 short. When this happens, your mind will automatically start coming up with ways to cope around your ‘new’ available funds.
Perhaps if you’re always eating out, you’ll become more mindful of where and when you go out to eat.
With these 3 steps, saving up will now be less of a struggle and you’ll also have a peace of mind, knowing you have funds to fall back on during hard times.