Four Easy Ways to Save in 2018

Often times, saving money can seem like a full-time job.

We can spend hours thinking of ways to save a few bucks, whether we’re saving for retirement, saving for a vacation, or saving for a fancy new pair of shoes.

For young people, saving money isn’t always a priority, either because they don’t see the purpose in their young age or they are simply not making enough money to feel like they can focus on saving.

However, beginning to save at a young age is actually paramount to achieving your future goals, even though they might seem far away in the moment.

In addition, saving doesn’t have to be as daunting as many young adults think. There are actually several easy – and dare I say fun – ways to start and maintain a successful savings account.

All it takes is a little creativity and discipline.

Here are four quick and easy tips for young adults in order to gradually save money and become more money conscious:

  • MAKE IT A CONTEST

    At the beginning of this year, it seemed like my two close friends and I were engaged in an unofficial “spend-off.” Essentially, we were all purchasing as many material items as we could with our disposable income. One day, fed up with seeing my friend sport another pair of outlandishly-priced shoes, I suggested we start a pact. The pact was this: none of us are allowed to by any shoes or clothes for the entire month of June. It seemed silly at first but in fact, it worked wonders. We each took it seriously and at the end of June, one of my friends had paid off all of his credit card debt just by putting an end to his frivolous spending for one month. Small challenges like this, as you can see, can go a long way to keeping money in your pocket!

  • REDIRECT YOUR FINANCES

    For a better part of 2017, I made a personal commitment to saving money, but it was often difficult to save because I lacked a strategy. With that said, the strategy I eventually created was this: each time I planned to spend money on something that wasn’t an absolute need, I instead put that money into my savings account. For instance, if there was a new pair of Jordan’s that I wanted and considered buying, and they cost $170, I took that $170 and put it into my savings account. My rationale was this: If I was comfortable spending that amount of money, then I must be comfortable enough to put it in my savings account. If I had $170 to do with what I wanted, then the best option was to invest in myself. I saved several thousand dollars with this method!

  • PROACTIVELY BUDGET YOURSELF

    Having a budget is a great idea, but sometimes, budgets are too easy to break. You tell yourself you can only spend a certain amount of money per month on a certain category, such as fast food, but you forget to keep track or you eventually surpass it sooner than you expected and tell yourself, “I’ll do better next month.” But when does that ever work? With that said, a specific tactic that can work wonders is to budget yourself BEFORE the week. For instance, withdraw $150 from the bank at the beginning of the week and designate it as your spending money. And for that week, you can only spend that cash on food, entertainment, gas, etc. You’ll find that you constantly remain conscious of your money and you will make better decisions when spending on a whim. Soon, you’ll often find that you have money left over, which you can use for the next week in order to have a few extra dollars.

  • DO THE SMALL THINGS

    Essentially, cut what you don’t need. Don’t eat out as much. Instead, learn how to cook 4-5 good dishes that you enjoy and that can turn into leftovers. It will save you money. Research entertainment alternatives and get rid of your expensive cable provider. You can subscribe to Netflix, Hulu and ESPN+ around $20 combined. Figure out travel alternatives, such as the Metro or biking. There are a ton of ways to save a few hundred dollars a month if you’re willing to put in the effort!