First Job and Your Dad tell you start saving …. Saving is seen as the most cumbersome task by most millennials. When there are hundreds of means to splurge and only one major means of earning – the monthly pay cheque, savings remain at the bottom of the ‘to do list’ for most of the younger lot. But most of them buy the idea that savings are essential for a better future. If you are one of them, here are some easy tips to reach your first target of ‘Rs 1 lakh in saving’ in early years of working life.
Make a note of your spending categories – daily commute, eating out, rent, utility bills, entertainment and so on. Try to figure out where you do spend. You can give a modern touch to the old idea of budgeting by bringing in an app or a spreadsheet. By end of the month you will realise that there is scope for saving.
Well, most of you will argue that it is not about whether there is scope to save, but it is about actual saving.
If you forgo a coffee or a movie on a week-end you will not immediately become rich, but you will definitely save some money. Think of cooking at home on week-end or carry tiffin to work. This will surely save a good amount of money. Car-pooling and share-a-cab can be considered if you are not gung-ho about taking public transport. The savings may not start trickling in from the first month itself but over a period of time, you will take charge of the ‘axe-your-spend’ campaign.
It is not that you should not treat yourself. There will be times when you indulge, but you must keep a check on how much to spend on such occasions.
If you are not sure, if you will cut your spends, opt for a recurring deposit that transfers a stipulated amount of money, say Rs 5000, out of your salary bank account to a recurring fixed deposit. This makes your saving goal a little more accessible.
You may also want to plug the leaking holes. You may want to ‘unsubscribe’ from all mailing lists of online retailers. You can also opt for cash-back credit cards. If you are worried about going overboard with credit cards, switch to debit cards. These not only kill the options to spend your money but also restrict spending to money that you have.
Add some fun to it
Saving may be too boring an activity. But add a twist to it and you will be home. How is the idea of not spending a Rs 50 note, if you get one. All such Rs 50 notes you come across can be kept in your good old piggy bank and can be deposited into your bank account. There is a high chance that you will save a good amount of money in addition to the money saved using tips mentioned above.
You may also decide a ‘no movie or no eating out day’ if the date is a number divisible by three. So in a month of 30 days, you cannot eat out or go to movie on 10 days. You save again – if one of these days fall on week-end then there are real savings.
Tell it to others
This may sound weird. But if peer pressure makes you do many things, why it will not make you save? Tell someone that you are saving money- be your parents, your best friend or your gym buddy. Or just put up a ‘saving-board’ in your room and keep updating how much money you have put in your saving account. Your saving board and your buddy will keep reminding you about your saving plans.
Identify someone who is good at saving – your friend or a sibling. Discuss your saving plan with her. She can also give you some tips. You will also get some inspiration to save more.
Last and the most important, decide to treat yourself if you exceed your yearly saving goal by 20 percent. On the way to your ‘Saving Rs 1 lakh’ goal, you will have your monthly targets. Every time you exceed them by more than 20 percent, treat yourself in a small way – your favourite ice-cream. This will keep the morale high and you will surely exceed your goal by a wide margin.