11 Tips For Building Your Savings From Zero

The writer is a Delhi based Certified Financial Planner CFPCM, conferred upon by the
Financial Planning Standards Board. If you are an Indian resident looking for a financial plan prepared according to your needs & goals, write to her at shruti(AT)richesawait.com

Saving regularly is the only key to ensure future financial security, but people come up with all sorts of excuses for not saving: I don’t have any surplus to save, My expenses are too high, I don’t know how and where to start etc.

Your ability to save money is not dependent on your earnings but your mindset. If you just change your attitude a bit and start seeing things from a new perspective, you will start finding ways to increase your savings corpus with your current income easily.

There are plenty of ways to save money, many are easy to follow and don’t require big sacrifices on your part. In this article I am going to share few of such tips, figure out how many of the following techniques work for you, start incorporating them into your daily life, and begin your journey of great riches.

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  1. Know what you are saving for
    One of the best way to save money is by visualizing what you are saving for. Saving just for the sake of saving will never work. Like I said it’s all about your mindset, until you see the clear purpose of saving you will not be motivated or driven enough to start saving. So understand what you are saving for. Is it for an emergency fund? Or a short-term goal like buying a car? Or for a long-term goal like retirement. Having a clear picture and goal in mind will play a major role in how successful you are at saving regularly, as compared to saving in an ad-hoc manner.
  2. Start Small
    Always start by setting small attainable targets, instead of one big number. The biggest reason why so many people find saving difficult and tiresome is because they start by setting too high a target for themselves and end up quitting midway. Therefore, always start with small and realistic numbers, like start with ₹50 or ₹100 daily. This way you will be positively motivated when you reach your desired goal. Success begets success, you will start finding more ways to save and increasing you target as well.
  3. Avoid becoming a victim of small regular expenses
    If a drop by drop can fill a bucket, a drop by drop leak can empty that same bucket. So never ignore or take lightly your daily unnecessary expenses like bottled water or coffee. They are one of the major hindrances in your path of becoming rich. Making your lunch at home and taking it with you to office would be much cheaper and healthier than anything you buy outside. To understand more read my earlier post: Debunked #1: Small Lifestyle Changes Make No Difference
  4. Get out of bad spending habits
    Bad spending habits have a huge impact on your financial well being. They are a blow to your budget & can increase your debt. It is the undisciplined and spendthrift who finds saving an uphill task. But it’s possible to get out of bad spending habits and start saving instead. For more details check out this post: 6 Ways To Get Out of Bad Spending Habits
  5. Take the 52 week money challenge
    One of the hardest things about saving money is being consistent. The 52-week Money Challenge helps you get into the habit and mindset of saving each week. It also helps you build on your small successes to save more and more money over time. Start by saving just ₹100 in first week of the year, and then gradually increase your saving by ₹100 a week throughout the year. By the time you finish, you would be saving ₹5200 a week. Also, your total savings would be ₹1,37,800.

    WeekWeekly SavingsAccumulated Savings
    1100100
    2200300
    3300600
    44001000
    55001500
    66002100
    77002800
    88003600
    99004500
    1010005500
    1111006600
    1212007800
    1313009100
    14140010500
    15150012000
    16160013600
    17170015300
    18180017100
    19190019000
    20200021000
    21210023100
    22220025300
    23230027600
    24240030000
    25250032500
    26260035100
    27270037800
    28280040600
    29290043500
    30300046500
    31310049600
    32320052800
    33330056100
    34340059500
    35350063000
    36360066600
    37370070300
    38380074100
    39390078000
    40400082000
    41410086100
    42420090300
    43430094600
    44440099000
    454500103500
    464600108100
    474700112800
    484800117600
    494900122500
    505000127500
    515100132600
    525200137800
  6. Save currency notes of a particular denomination
    Select a particular denomination like ₹50, or ₹20 and at the end of the day, go through your wallet and take out all the banknotes of that denomination and put them away. Deposit the entire collection in your savings bank account on monthly basis.
  7. Save your increment, windfalls and tax refunds
    People tend to spend more if they have a fatter bank balance and gradually start getting used to higher expenses. Don’t give yourself time to adjust to the higher surplus, put the extra as savings by default.
  8. Unsubscribe
    Avoid the temptation by unsubscribing from all the marketing emails. Stores you buy from might be sending promotional and sales alerts, unsubscribe from all of them so that you don’t spend money on unnecessary purchases.
  9. Start having fun with No Spend Days
    Start by dedicating some days as No Spend Days with family and friends. Cook at home, spend time with loved ones, be innovative and creative and plan free activities like game nights. Also, connect with nature. It’s free. Plan a walk or picnic at a nearby park. There are a number of options available to enjoy yourself without spending big bucks. So let that creative mind of yours create magic and become the hero of your family.
  10. Do a price comparison
    Always shop around, do a thorough price comparison before you buy anything, especially those big important purchases.
  11. Cancel unused memberships
    Stop paying dues to clubs that you seldom or infrequently use, like gym memberships, club memberships, or even magazine subscriptions. Cancel them now, you will be amazed to find out how much this simple exercise will increase your annual savings.

These are just a few tips, there are many many more ways to save money, just get into right mindset and you will start figuring out more ways for yourself. Every time you are about to make a purchase ask yourself: Do I really need this? There is a difference between wanting something and needing something.

When you reach your savings goal, start investing the extra savings. Saving and investing go hand in hand but for investing you need to have enough savings available.

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