- Personal Finance
35 to 40% Increase in your Money Savings
Saving Money has always been a matter of concern for me. Due to my spending habits my money savings were far less than expected.
I gave some serious thought to the problem and figured out how I can increase my money savings through a systematic and structured way. Here I would like to share the same.
What will you learn here?
After reading this article you will be able to save money in a structured and target manner. Putting the method in practice will enable you to increase your money savings, track your money and encash your money savings.
The Formula for Increased Money Saving
Following are the steps to increase your money savings
1. Track your expenses
3. Set Targets
4. Account & Realize your Money Savings
5. Compare, Appreciate and Set future targets
The above outline has given you a brief Idea about how systematically you can Track, Set and encash your money savings. Let me explain each point in detail.
1. Track You Expenses:
For any improvement it is very important to study the current situation and understand the trend. You must understand your spending habits by tracking your expenses. You can establish some parameters on which you can quantify and record them on a daily or a weekly basis. Use of a spreadsheet is advised for easy recording.
Make a list of all your expenses. This list can be of the expenses you incurred in the past one week or you can start off recording from today itself for at least a week. Now next to the list of expenses you can make a few columns of information. You can record the below mentioned information for each item on your list:
( i ) Frequency: How frequently do you incur this expense. You need to record this on a single time basis. For example I eat out once a week; I buy clothes once every 2 months. Try to quantify as much as possible.
( ii ) Amount: Put down the amount that you have spent for a particular expense. Always remember to carry the bills and put them in a proper file or folder.
( iii ) Brand: If possible specify the brand that you selected for that particular expense. In case of services you can specify the service provider.
( iv ) Quantity: Mention the quantity of purchase and not of consumption. For services you can write down the capacity or the offered quantity.
( v ) Purpose: Last but not the least, you must define a purpose for that expense. Keep the total list of purpose short so that you can easily understand the various categories under which you make a particular expense. While entering this information you must ask yourself "Why did I incur this particular expense?”. For example work, leisure, social etc.
2. ISD - Identify, Select & Decide:
Now that your list is ready with all the related information, it is time to identify those expenses on which you would like to increase your savings.
Keeping yourself away from a few fun-filled activities could seem punishing but remember you are doing it for a positive purpose and that is saving money for your future use.
Identify - the top 10 expenses on which, you think, you can cut down your expenditure.
Select - any 8 expenses to set your targets. These 8 expenses are the ones on which you will be working seriously to track, plan and reduce them.
Decide: Decide upon any 6 expenses for which you will set targets. This is the final list. You have to set money saving targets on them and have to achieve it, no matter what.
3. Set Targets:
Simply identifying which expenses to cut down will do no good. You need to fix targets. These targets will be in form of statements or numbers. For example I will eat out only once a month (reduced from thrice a month to once a month), I will use generic brands of a certain product (whereby you were using a branded product, you can use a generic product), I will cut down my fuel expenses by 10% by avoiding frequent use of car or by planning and scheduling my out-door activities to club them together, I will not expend on a certain product more than X amount, I will not consume a certain product more than the minimum required etc.
Targets are the most important part of your savings. Do not set unrealistic targets which seem unachievable in the very first place. Initially you must set targets that are easily achievable, then move on further. Preferably you must target saving 10% on the first try, the later shift to 20%, 30% and more.
4. Account and Realize your Savings:
Now that you have understood the nature of your expenses and set targets for a few, it is time to account your savings. Every time you feel you need to spend on something and if you can avoid that for saving some money, then you must calculate that amount and record it on a spreadsheet as your savings. This is important, for you will realize after a period of time, which expenses you could let go and over the period how much money did you save on each of them.
You will also see your saving balance going up as you cut down more and more expenses. This is it! This is what you had aimed for. Out of this list you can also identify other areas where you can save money which were not actually listed on your initial target list. So next time when you set targets, you may include them as well.
At the end of a week or month, you must sum up the total savings for that period and put it in a separate bank account so that it is there for you to use in time of need.
5. Compare, Appreciate and Set Future Targets:
Next important thing to do is to compare your recorded savings against your past expenses and savings. This will give you an idea of how far and to what heights have you travelled. Appreciate yourself for achieving targets, treat yourself with an all time awaited expense if at all you would like to else save it and account for it.
Considering the method above and putting it in practice can definitely help you increase your savings by 10 percent in the first month and can take you up to 35% to 50%. Increased savings will enable you to get your most awaited things in life. Small savings will seem small and of no use but they will definitely grow over a period of time and give you good returns.
Suggestions for improvement and comments are always welcomed.