What a great moment when a message says, “Your account is credited by XYZ amount”. Right in the next moment, you start wondering, “can I save any money with this amount?”
If the salary is relatively low, saving money becomes even more challenging. No worries, with some practical & intelligent tips discussed in this post, anyone can save money from salary.
The Importance Of Saving Money
Saving money is crucial for preparing a better financial future. Building a savings habit allows you to create a safety net, control your finances and be better equipped to handle any unexpected expenses or opportunities that may come your way.
So, let’s start with the main purpose of this post with tip no zero!
There is a saying, “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. Clearly, planning is the first step towards a successful outcome. So, start your savings journey with proper planning.
A. Create A Budget
Creating a simple budget can help you track your income, expenses and savings. Nowadays, a wide range of budget apps is available for smartphones. You can pick one of them based on your preference to monitor your cashflows.
B. Set Savings Goals
Setting savings goals is akin to having a map for your financial journey. Without having a goal, you can not monitor whether you are on the right track. Defined objectives provide you with direction & focus for your saving efforts.
You must have a clear objective for why you are saving. Is it for a down payment, retirement planning, wealth accumulation or anything else? Simply ask yourself!
C. Build An Emergency Fund
One can not miss building an emergency fund. It is a reserve of money to cover unexpected expenses such as medical bills, car repairs or job loss. Emergency funds help in avoiding debt, reducing stress & providing financial security etc.
One should accumulate a minimum of emergency funds for 3 to 6 months. You can park your emergency fund in a bank or liquid funds for quick access.
Calculate it using the simple formula: ME X 3 (for 3 months) or ME X 6 (for 6 months). Where ME stands for Monthly Expenses.
D. Automate Savings
You can automate savings with some simple efforts. First of all, you should maintain a separate savings account along with a salary account. Then provide standing instructions to your bank in writing with necessary details such as account numbers, amount, date etc.
Standing instruction is a facility that authorizes the bank to automatically perform specific transactions or payments on a regular basis. You can also do it online provided your bank offers the same.
You can also automate your investments using systematic investment plans (SIP).
#1. Save on Taxes
If fall under any tax bracket, your first duty should be to make the most of available tax exemptions and deductions. One of the popular ways to save taxes is ELSS funds, which offer tax deductions of up to INR 1.5 Lakhs.
While ELSS funds offer tax deductions under 80C of the Taxation Act 1961, many other sections within the tax laws can help you save the maximum amount of tax possible.
#2. Save On Needs
While it is inevitable to address basic needs, implementing wise strategies can greatly enhance the efficiency of your spending.
A. Cost-Saving Alternatives
Invest some time in finding affordable sources. Explore different marketplaces & start comparing prices. Try to compare the grocery prices from supermarkets to local vendors. You will definitely save money.
If you are living on rent, there are practical ways to reduce your housing expenses. One option is to actively search for rental properties with lower rents. Another cost-saving strategy is to consider finding a housemate or roommate to share the rent.
B. Transportation Expenses
Try to cut your expenses on transportation. If you use your personal vehicle, using public transport can help you cut the cost. You can avail of a monthly pass which will be more affordable than daily fares.
Additionally, if you spend more on transportation than house rent, it may be worthwhile to find a living arrangement closer to your workplace. Consider cycling or walking for shorter distances. It will help you save money and health.
C. Shop With A List
If you shop without a list, you are making a huge mistake. It is recommended to shop with a list due to the benefits it offers. First of all, it saves your time by providing a roadmap of what you need & what not.
Second, it prevents overbuying and underbuying resisting wastage or shortage. Third, having a list helps you stay focused on the items you genuinely need, reducing the likelihood of impulsive buying.
Most importantly, it will help you maintain your budget which I mentioned above in the post.
D. Leverage Discount Days, deals & coupons
Many supermarkets, grocery markets and hypermarkets schedule discount days where shoppers can enjoy significant savings on various items.
Apart from that, many websites & platforms distribute coupons and discount codes to save extra money. By being aware of these, you can make the most of the discounts offered and maximize your savings.
E. Stop Paying Others For Your Stuff
Instead of relying on others, take the initiative to learn new skills & do it yourself. Whether it is basic home repairs, car maintenance or even simple tasks like gardening, cooking or cleaning, doing it yourself is money-saving.
#3. Save On Wants
No need to live a boring life if you fall into a low-income group. With a little creativity and smart choices, you can still find ways to indulge in the things you love without breaking the bank.
A. Buy Used Stuff
I recently bought a 6-month used smartphone (looks brand new) for 18000 bucks on Cashify. This phone’s MRP is 28500 bucks. On top of that, Cashify offers a warranty of 6 months.
Buying used stuff like cars, bikes, smartphones etc. is now more easy, convenient and affordable. Cardekho, Cashify, Cars24, OLX & similar platforms made it easy to find the used stuff of your choice.
B. Buy At Auctions
Various banks and government auctions can provide opportunities to find good deals on a wide range of items including vehicles, properties etc. These auctions are often held to sell repossessed or seized assets that the bank or government has acquired.
C. Discontinue Traditional Cable TV
In this new era, the way we entertain ourselves has changed. Now many of us do not need traditional cable TV. We can watch a wide range of web shows on our smartphones or can cast them on smart TVs.
D. Prepare Your Favourite Dishes At Home
Homely food has no comparison in terms of hygiene, taste & health. It does not mean giving up on your favourite dishes.
Preparing your favourite dishes at home is cheaper than eating out. Plus, today, cooking is not a tough skill. You can find various YouTube videos for your favourite dishes.
#4. Avoid Debt trap
Unexpected expenses can help you earn a debt trap and negatively impact your financial stability. This is why it is crucial to avoid a debt trap.
You can do it using budgeting, building emergency funds and subscribing to required insurance policies. If you have already in debt, your first priority and duty is to pay it off as soon as possible.
#5. Make Wise Use of Credit Cards
People using credit cards smartly can provide many benefits. Before you consider a purchase make sure you already have a repayment strategy. This can help you avoid unnecessary charges and build a good credit score.
Moreover, borrow only what you can afford to pay back. It will save you unnecessary interest compounding and debt trap. Apart from this, one should always keep track of one’s spending, rewards and exclusive offers to maximize the benefits.
#6. Prefer Cash Payments
Multiple studies show that people spend more with digital or card-based payments compared to when they prefer cash payments. There is a tangible sense of loss as physical currency is exchanged, making individuals more conscious of their spending.
#7. Uninstall Shopping Apps
Uninstalling shopping apps can be a beneficial step towards saving money. These apps often lead to impulsive buying and temptations with frequent notifications and easy access to making purchases.
By uninstalling shopping apps, individuals gain more control over their spending habits and time, avoiding wasted energy on browsing products. Only install them when needed.
#8. Subscribe to a Medical Insurance
Medical emergencies can arise at any time and can quickly drain your savings if you are not adequately prepared. Having a medical insurance policy provides you with financial protection by covering a significant portion of your healthcare expenses.
#9. Avoid Lifestyle Inflation
Lifestyle inflation refers to the tendency of increasing expenses as income rise. When your income grows by 30% and you grow your expenses by 30%, it is not a good idea.
For real progress, It is essential to resist the urge to inflate your lifestyle. Instead, focus on allocating a portion of the additional income towards savings, investments and debt reduction.
#10. Make Use Of Incognito Mode
Incognito mode or private browsing allows you to surf the web without storing browsing history, cookies or other data on your device.
This might help you save money by preventing an increase in prices based on your perceived interest or demand. It also helps you research unbiased product reviews, avoid target ads & protect your sensitive information.
#11. Park Your Savings At the Right Place
Parking your money in the right place is critical for maximizing financial benefits. You can outpace inflation by investing your savings in assets with higher returns. This will preserve the value of your money & achieve long-term growth.
#12. Increase your Income
Saving money is a good idea but increasing your income is a better idea. One should constantly seek a better job or opportunities to increase income.
While saving helps you manage your current resources, boosting your income opens up new possibilities and accelerates your journey towards financial success.
How can creating a budget help me save money from my salary?
Creating a budget allows you to track where your money is going and make informed decisions about your spending.
How can I find cost-saving alternatives for my everyday needs?
Today, it is not very tough to find some cost-saving alternatives for your everyday needs. You can do the following: 1. Research & compare prices, 2. Explore local vendors & new marketplaces, 3. Buy used items etc.
How can shopping with a list help me save money?
Shopping with a list may help you in saving your time & money. It is helpful to avoid impulse buying, unnecessary buying, underbuying & overbuying.
What are the advantages of buying used items and attending auctions?
You can get good or even the best deals there saving you a huge portion of your money & allowing you to stretch your budget and get more value for your money.
How can I stay motivated and consistent in my savings journey?
For motivation and consistency in your savings journey, follow these simple steps:
1. Maintain a budget
2. Set clear goals
3. Track your progress
4. Celebrate milestones
5. Educate yourself.