Life was easier for the past generations, as the job market wasn’t as dynamic, there weren’t too many things to spend money on and education was clearly not as expensive as now.
So, if you wanted to enjoy life and still save money, it was a straightforward process.
Today, young people (millenials and the next generation) find it harder to get out of their mounting debt and get to save money as well.
There are so many distractions on your way to becoming financial independent, that, if you just focus on having a good time, you’ll end up hurting yourself.
Saving money is the only way to get ahead: pay off all your debt, save for a down payment towards your future home and then preparing for retirement.
Here are 4 steps to save money and secure your future
Choose Local Activities Instead of Foreign Trips
If you are looking for excitement , you may not need to spend thousands on airline travel to a foreign destination. You can have fun in your own backyard. Look for local activities in your region instead of going on expensive vacations.
Vacations can consume a large portion of your liquid funds. A lot of that money should be going toward your savings.
As soon as you get a better hold on your money issues and have saved at least a hefty emergency fund, you can slowly start venturing farther away and enjoy more expensive vacations.
Automatically Deposit Money Into Savings
Your savings account should be off limits except for emergencies. Automatically depositing a portion of your paycheck into your savings account allows you to save it and forget it. It is out of sight and out of mind.
Not to mention that this way you’ll never miss a payment towards your own future. Once automated, the process works regardless of you remembering to save money or not.
Determine how much of your paycheck you can afford to part with. For example, you may choose to save 5% of each paycheck. If your paychecks are direct deposited, you should have no problem setting up an automatic transfer with your bank.
The same trick should be used to automate your credit card payments for instance. Or your utility bills.
Once you have automated payments, you’ll never miss a payment again and will never have to deal with expensive fees and commissions.
Create a Budget for Entertainment Spending
You can be frugal without being boring.
Create a monthly budget that covers your necessary expenses, such as rent, utilities, and debt payments.
You should also estimate how much you spend on basic living expenses, such as food, medicine, and gas.
With the remaining funds, determine how much you can afford to spend on entertainment.
Entertainment spending includes going to movies, eating out, or taking a short trip.
Don’t fall into the habit of forgoing any entertainment. While it’s good to be frugal, not having any enjoyment in life is a sure way to boredom and even depression.
You only live once, so, without squandering your money, find ways to still make every day enjoyable.
Search for Alternatives to Excessive Spending
Another way to save money and still have fun is to look for affordable alternatives to high-cost purchases. For example, instead of taking your friends out to dinner, you can plan a meal at a home.
Instead of buying name-brand clothing, you can shop for deals or visit a local thrift store.
You can use streaming services instead of paying for cable. Spending all day long in front of the TV is a sure way to waste time you could spend working out, learning a new craft or spending time with your best friends.
We already spend too much time on social media, on the TV and streaming services. Let’s try to regain control over our lives and spend time where it matters the most.
There are endless possible ways to save money without having to say no to the things that you enjoy.
These are just 4 simple ways to enjoy life and also save money for a brighter financial future.