You can probably still remember the first time you got a paycheck, and it must have felt exciting to finally be able to earn money. Do you remember what you bought back then? Did you treat yourself by buying that video game you always wanted? Did you go out and had a party with your friends? Or did you bring your date to that fancy restaurant that they always wanted?
Those must have been some fun times, but what else did you with your money? Some of you might have consumed your entire salary on just the third day, spending it on things that aren’t necessarily important. And here you are, thinking of ways on how to make several dollars last for another week until the next payday. By now you’ve probably realized that you didn’t use up your money well.
Here are 7 things that you should do to save up until your next payday:
AVOID UNNECESSARY EXPENSES
You’ve probably heard this a lot by now. That’s because this is the most important rule if you want to save money. It’s okay if you want to treat yourself to a fancy restaurant on your payday, but it’s not okay to keep spending lavishly every day. Unnecessary expenses also include buying things that you don’t actually need. For example, buying a new notebook, when you’ve already got several other blank notebooks at home. Or even that fashion magazine that you’ll only read once, and then dump somewhere in the house. These small expenses will pile up and take a heavy toll on your salary.
WALK OR RIDE A BIKE TO WORK
Is your work just a couple of blocks from your house? Then you should just walk or ride a bike to work. Not only is this eco-friendly, but this also saves you a lot of money on gasoline. You could also use the public transportation as an alternative, since it is a cheaper method in going to work. Especially if your salary is not that large yet, I recommend lessening your transportation allowance in order to save up a lot.
If you have a small salary, you probably wouldn’t think of investing your money yet, and that is wrong. After receiving your salary, you should immediately separate a portion for investments. That way, you can ensure that your money will grow in the future. If you keep your money in a bank, then it will remain stagnant. The money will not decrease, but it will also not increase much.
Another great investment are on household objects that will make your everyday life easier. An example is investing to get that high quality stove that cooks your food better. Another example is saving up for those branded shoes that are sturdier and more comfortable to walk on.
PLAN YOUR WEEKLY MEALS
A large portion of our salary goes out on food. We eat at an average of three meals a day, plus the occasional snacks in between. Learning to plan and budget our weekly meals would cut off a lot in our expenses, thus being able to spend them on other thing.
No, instant noodles and dollar store food do not count. You need to save up and remain healthy at the same time. When I say, “plan your meals”, this means investing your time on preparing your own food. You can look up on the internet on some simple recipes that you could whip up before you go to work. You could also write down a list of food that you want to eat throughout the week, so you could go to the grocery to buy your ingredients. Not everyone may be a great chef, but anyone can cook.
Learning to recycle your things would be a great way to cut off unnecessary expenses, which were mentioned above. Recycling also includes making DIY objects for your home, which usually cost less than buying them at the store. For example, you could recycle used paper to create decorations for your home.
Recycling your food also counts. For example, if you have some leftover roasted chicken, you can shred these and add to your pasta. Not only does it enhances the flavor, but it also saves you some money.
START A SMALL BUSINESS
Everyone has a hobby or skill, and wouldn’t it be better if you could make money off of it? If you are artistic, then use these skills to earn yourself some extra cash that you help you extend until the next payday. It doesn’t have to be a big business that requires you to focus on it full-time. It could be something simple, like selling handmade bookmarks, making small paintings, or sewing dresses for little girls’ dolls. Not only do you make money, but you also get to do what you love. It’s a win-win situation!
KEEP TRACK OF YOUR EXPENSES
Last but not the least, you should keep track of your expenses. It’s good to know where you spent your money, and you’ll learn how to save up better for the next time. There are a lot of applications in your phone that helps you keep track of where your money went, but my personal preference is having a small notebook that I carry with me all the time.
Be sure to list down everything that required you to spend money, or even when you earned some. As I said before, even the smallest expenses can do a lot of damage on your salary in the long run.