3 Difficult Steps To Start Saving
“You don’t become wealthy because of what you earn, you become wealthy from what you save” ~ can’t remember who said it but it’s definitely the truth.
If you are an individual earning 1 million but at the same time a spender of 1.1 million, you must remember that the person who earns 10,000 but spends 8,000 will become wealthier than you with time.
So here are few simple steps to jump start your savings habit.
- Always go with the bank account with the highest interest rate for regular savings, there are accounts which pays higher interest rates. However they come with a higher number for the minimum deposit amount when opening an account. (if you can afford it, go for it)
- Make sure you have a branch of the bank you consider in your city or in close vicinity to your work location, university or school which will help you to make monthly visits to the bank if you do not have the luxury of owning online banking facilities
- Make sure the bank you consider is backed up by the central bank.
- Do not ask for an ATM card. You are opening an account to save, remember its not to withdraw, so even if the bank says the first year charges would be waived off for the ATM card, say NO!
- Do not open bank accounts in any financial institutions which are not backed up by the central bank. (at least not at the starting point)
As George S Clason (Clason, January 1, 2002) says 1/10 of all you earn is yours to keep. This means that 10% of your income should be saved before you start to spend even a cent. However making up your mind through a 10% cut can be a bit intimidating when you have to worry about all the bills you have to pay, however I encourage you to start saving at least 2% of your monthly income. This will condition your brain for savings. You can increase the percentage of savings with time, but I recommend you not to change the percentage of savings within the first 3 months’ time period as this would be the crucial time period to train your brain to ‘SAVE’.
If you’re employed,
- Check with the bank which you are receiving your monthly salary if they have charges for ‘Standing Orders / Standing Instructions’ for transferring funds to different banks (this is only applicable if you have opened your savings account in a different bank other than the bank which you are receiving your monthly salary)
- Inquire if there are any charges for an online transfer. Some banks on their own discretion enables you to transfer funds to other banks free of charge.
- The 3rd option would be to request your employer to transfer 2% of your monthly income through direct deposit to your preferred savings account.
- If everything above fails, get ready to make a trip to the bank every month.
If you’re a student,
- Check with your parents if they have online banking facility and if they do, ask them to transfer 2% of your monthly allowance to your newly opened savings account.
- If not, ask your parents or guardians to deposit the money on behalf of you. However I wouldn’t recommend this because in the end it’s you who need to be comfortable and be familiar with your bank and the activities that you perform with your savings account. So wear your big girl/boy pants and get yourself to the bank if you want to do this. Make sure to update the pass book if you have one, if not wait for the monthly statement and verify your balance.
Make savings another important task and add savings to your monthly check / to-do list. If you haven’t automated your savings keep an action item to deposit cash in to your savings account and get the passbook updated regularly. If you have automated savings, keep an action item to verify the monthly balance and interest which you have earned over the previous months. These steps are very important to the process of conditioning/training your mind in to do ‘savings’ while paying attention to every cent that you earn and spend at the same time.
I can assure you that you would feel good to see the interest you earned on your account and the increasing bank balance every single month. This is you witnessing compound interest in action.
"You can't manage what you can't measure” ~Peter Drucker
Today there are so many expense management Software that you can find on Google and even on your App stores on your mobiles, so I wouldn’t even bother to speak about tracking your expenses on a piece of paper or on excel. I personally use ‘Expense Manager’ which is a software available on my mobile apps store and I have simplified the expense categories so I do not spend too much time on deciding under which expense category I should add an expense. If you have too many expense categories and you spend too much time on adding expenses, you will surely give up on tracking your expenses after two weeks.
Make sure to track every single payment, as the first step, starting off from today to track every little payment and you will be surprised to see the amounts you have spent on each category.
Through my next blog article I’ll explain on how you can build a personal budget. However it’s important you start tracking yourself from today, so by the time you read my next article on ‘budgeting’, you already have the data you require for budgeting.
Clason, G. S. (January 1, 2002). The Richest Man in Babylon. Signet; Reprint edition.