When talking about saving, often you hear about how much you could save if you didn’t buy that coffee from Starbucks. This, however, is not always the most efficient way to save money. My approach to saving is this: save smarter, not harder.
When you save on the big things, you can enjoy the little things without worrying about every penny you spend. Often, accommodation and transportation take up a large part of your monthly budget. This is especially the case if you have your own car and live in a rented apartment.
Let’s start with your apartment. In some extreme cases, rent could make up to 75% of your entire monthly budget and then you’ll have to save on food and other things. If your monthly budget was 3000 dollars, just as an example, if the rent was 2000 dollars, you had 1000 for everything else.
Let’s say you move to a smaller apartment or further from downtown and could cut the rent to half, your transportation bills could increase a little bit. But you would still have close to 1000 dollars more to spend on everything else.
Your monthly budget after rent reduction, would increase by 100%. If you put all the money you saved from just moving further into index funds or just savings accounts, in the long term, that would grow into a nice chunk of money.
Another thing you can save a big penny of is your car. Cars lose their value fast, especially if they are brand new. Just by driving the car out of the dealership the price falls 10-20% instantly. The newer the car, the faster it usually loses its value.
On top of the car’s buying expenses, there are fuel, maintenance, and insurance fees, which could really be a noticeable portion of your budget. You could really get a nice used car for a fraction of the price of a new one, but still drive comfortably.
Third thing, you had it coming, eating out and buying that coffee from coffeeshops. I know I said this isn’t always the most efficient way of saving money, but after accommodation and transport, this can really take up a lot of your monthly budget.
Everybody has their unique money situation, and for somebody, who is already living in a cheap apartment, using public transportation, with a low income, eating out and taking daily on-the-go coffee can be a big deal monthly.
Now I get to the point of saving smarter. You should try to save on the big things. Such as rent, car and eating out. This way you can spend a little bit more on healthier food, long-lasting clothes, and overall, just live a little bit more comfortably, without having to worry about every penny.
This also helps you grow your rainy-day savings account. It can also help you get started with investing. Investing can help you get wealthier in the long run, but you should still have at least some kind of emergency fund available. I have a dedicated post on emergency funds; you can read it here.
When you have saved on the big things, you can more freely buy something you want. Maybe it’s that new keyboard or a new frying pan to make your life easier. Whatever it is, it doesn’t have to be a new car that costs tens of thousands of dollars. Instead, you could get your materialism happiness from something smaller, and this way create your future wealth.
When you have your savings game and rainy-day account in order, it might be a good time to consider starting to invest for the future. Investing related posts can be found here.
In summary: Save on the big things, so you don’t always have to save on the little things.
Hopefully this was helpful to you, have a nice day.