Everybody sings of saving money. It is most people’s New Year resolution. And because it is so wished for, it has become elusive.
It is hard to master the art of saving money. Like oil in the hand , saving money has become hard to grasp.
As hard as it may sound, saving money is not impossible. With a proper strategy, you will master saving money the same way you have mastered walking on your feet without falling.
It can be done. However, saving money once mastered can become a deadly disease. You may end up saving everything and have nothing to spend.
Therefore, as much as you seek to save money, know that too much saving is as bad as not saving at all or even worse. Why should you work so hard only to stack up your riches in the house for someone else to consume?
Today, I will share with you how I finally got a grip on this elusive habit of saving money and how I watch myself not to become a slave to it.
How to Save Money Easily
The biggest reason why I struggled saving money in the years past was because I perceived it to be hard work. I tried gaining the discipline of denying myself what I had rightfully earned in the name of saving.
That kind of motive faced a lot of resistance from my pleasure-seeking heart. Every so often, I would spend the little money I had managed to save.
It was the cycle of fattening a turkey for thanksgiving. The fatter the turkey becomes, the happier the owner is.
Once I learned that I had made saving money difficult, I worked on finding an easier way to save money. A way of saving that would not require my discipline. Or if it requires, then it should only be a fraction.
I knew for sure my discipline level was too low to save any money. I’m sure you are almost as me. How can you avoid the very pleasure you have worked so hard for in the name of saving it for future pleasure?
The motivation to do unpleasant things comes from the fact that the unpleasant thing will give us something pleasant. And the hope is that the pleasant thing will give us greater joy than the pain we faced doing the unpleasant thing.
This human nature makes saving any good thing for the future hard. Look at children, if they find candy, they eat it all. Even if they are tired of it, they will try to consume it all.
In their minds, there is no tomorrow. Surprisingly, we barely come out of such thinking after we have grown up. We work and once we get the benefits, we only think of consuming them.
We say in our minds, ‘I’ll just work again if I need more benefits’. This mindset has brought about the rat race.
A race that has no end. We live to eat and eat to live. Like rats, we never know when the cat will strike.
Make saving money easy
After wandering places looking for a suitable way to save money, I came across a method that is easy and fun. Immediately after learning this method of saving money, I consistently saved money for months on end until I didn’t know what to spend that money on.
Saving was easy but I realized that knowing how to use the saved money was another issue. The method I found to be super easy to use to save money I call it rounding off method.
Do you remember elementary school mathematics a topic called rounding off numbers? Is it not one of the easiest and fun things to do in mathematics before algebra comes with its nightmares?
In saving money, all you have to do is repeat the very procedure of rounding off. Decide to how many decimal places you want to round off your money to and how often you want to do it.
For example, you may decide to round off every Sunday to two decimal places. That means if your account balance on a Sunday evening is $1,344.00 you will save $44 so that you remain with $1,300.
It is like pruning a tree to allow it to grow better. You may decide to round off daily or after every three days and to whatever number of decimal places you want.
The bottom line is keep rounding off and saving the extra money. Within a short time, you will realize the savings account is growing.
The good thing with this method is that our minds already like it. Naturally, our minds round off numbers to make them easy to remember.
If I asked you right now how much money you have in your account, chances are you will give me a round figure. Therefore, just make the round figure the actual account balance.
You will always know the balance in your account and you will be saving in the process. That is how you kill two birds with one stone.
The Slavery of saving money
I always try to avoid this question but it comes up almost every time. How much is too much? How much saving is too much?
We know that too much of anything is harmful. Saving too can be harmful. I have seen super rich people who save too much.
Instead of enjoying their hard-earned money, they are busy saving. I wonder when they will enjoy their wealth.
That is why as I climb this ladder of wealth, I am careful not to fall in the trap of those who save too much.
Everyone has his own measure of how much savings are enough for him. In my world, three months of my expenditure are the minimum savings I aim for and a maximum of six months of my expenditure.
Some people may call this an emergency fund but all I know is I have money that can last me for at least three months if all my financial sources were to dry up.
I believe within three months I would have figured out a way to make money. If my saving goes beyond six months, I will be tempted to become complacent.
When there is too much security, I tend to relax a lot in my desire to invest and earn more. That is my world’s economy. Figure out your own.
How to begin Saving
As strange as it may sound, there are people who are better off if they don’t save. Before you jump into this bandwagon of saving money, think about your character.
For someone who is just starting out working for a living, saving is not a good idea. Saving is best when it comes a bit later.
In the first years of looking for money, it is best to invest all the money you make. For people with no families and fresh graduates, there is no point of struggling to save.
Invest the money you get and earn a lot more. Once you stabilize your income, you can now start saving.
If you think I am lying, try it. Chances are you will go broke and use up your savings every so often. And once you start using your savings, it is another bad habit that will need a lot of work to stop.
Therefore, to avoid that pitfall, keep off that path.
Saving money is elusive because we hype it so much and make it look difficult. With proper execution, you will come looking for me to buy me coffee for having told you this simple trick.
It has worked for me over and over again or else I wouldn’t be sharing it. And as usual, I know there is a better way to save. If you know it, I’ll be glad to hear it from you.