Many are the attempts and, unfortunately, also many times in which starting saving is only for a good purpose. Why is saving so difficult? Although each situation is different, in most cases certain basic rules are ignored which, although they are not simple, they are very effective.
Here we present them to you.
1. Save a fixed amount per month
The first mistake is to think about saving “what is left over” at the end of the fortnight and the reality is that many times there is no excess, quite the opposite. That is why it is essential that when distributing household income, a fixed amount is obligatorily allocated to savings, as is done with the payment of services. It is essential to start “today, today, and today.” If possible this month, at the latest the next. Remember that consistency is essential. Don’t let a month go by without saving and don’t fall into the trap of overspending thinking that “you’ll save double the next one.”
Like any good habit, it is hard to acquire. Fortunately, there are different ways to reinforce it: write down in your calendar or register the deposit to your account as a pending task on your PDA.
You can also schedule reminders in your email. If this is not enough, find a trusted ally to remind you when to save. Start small so it doesn’t become a straitjacket. If personal commitment is not enough, there are other alternatives such as savings banks.
2. Think long term
The second most frequent mistake is to think only in the present, in what you buy today with a certain amount.
If, for example, you can only save 500 pesos a month (excellent!) In a year, you would collect six thousand pesos; in three, 18 thousand pesos and in five years, 30 thousand pesos, plus the interest generated by a good investment. Today these same 500 pesos would be enough for you for an abundant and good meal.
To be successful in saving, think in the medium and long term: at least 12 months. Remember that more important than the amount is the constancy. If you cannot save even the 500 pesos of the example, it does not matter, save what is within your means and do accounts so you know how much you could collect.
3. Define a goal
Saving for a specific purpose (the initial capital to start your business, vacations abroad, a master’s degree, a down payment on a house) is the best incentive. It is preferable to start with short-term goals (between three and six months), so the benefits achieved will reinforce the habit of saving.
After reaching a couple of short-term goals, try a medium-term one (one to three years), to finally take on a long-term challenge: buying a house, paying for education insurance for your children, etc.
- Increase saving, not spending
It is very common that when family income increases, expenses are also increased almost immediately, instead of allocating the extra money or a good part of it to savings, which would be a more convenient decision.
It is worth asking yourself: if even before the increase in resources you or your family lived on – let’s say – 12 thousand pesos a month, there is no reason why you cannot continue to cover your needs with the same amount.