Saving money is never an easy task and the hardest thing about saying money is getting started. Trying to figure out where you can save money especially when you are on a tight budget can be a daunting. No one wants to give up what they already have but saving is a very important step in being financially stable.

Here is a step by step guide on how to save and create a budget that works

Work out your expenses

The first step is to figure our what your expenses are. This means tracking every coffee, lunch and snack you buy. This is going to be very hard but you will soon realize just how much money you spend on unnecessary things. Once you have all your data, organize the numbers into categories, such as rent, food, electricity and total each amount. If you pay mostly by card I would suggest getting a bank statement to help you easily breakdown your spending.

Make a budget

Now that you have an idea on what your expenses are each month and what you spend, you can organise your expenses into a budget. Your budget should outline how your expenses measure up to your salary. This will help you plan and limit your spending. Always remember to factor in unforeseen expenses into your budget such as car maintenance and last-minute emergencies. These things always seem to pop up when we least expect it.

Add savings to your budget

You have worked our your expenses and created a budget, now you need to create a savings category within your budget. Everyone says you should save 10 – 15% of your salary but if you only manage to save R100, it’s a good start. Rather start by saving something rather than nothing. You may notice now that your expenses are so high that it is actually hard for you to save more. If you have noticed this it might be time to start cutting back. To do this, go through the non-essentials, such as eating out every week or going out every weekend. Find cheaper alternatives.

Create a goal worth saving for

One way to really push yourself and motivate yourself into saving is to set a goal. Think about what you want to save for – this can be anything from a trip overseas to a buying a house. Once you have decided on your goal, figure out how long it is going to take you to save for it.

Check your priorities

This is incredibly important when saving towards your long-term goal and you may need to rethink and cut down on some of your short-term needs and wants. Going out every weekend and spending all that money isn’t worth it. Think about what is more important and change your priorities to suit your long-term goal.

Open a savings account with the Bank

Open a savings account that offers you great interest growth. You want to save as much as possible but you also want to know that you are growing a decent amount of interest as well. Most banks allow you to transfer between accounts. This will give you the freedom to transfer any amount and you can choose when you want to transfer it however when it comes to savings accounts I would suggest having a debit order. Once your salary comes in at the end of the month, an amount that you agreed on will automatically be debited and transferred to your savings account. This forces you to save and you will thank yourself later.

There are so many benefits to saving and watching your savings grow every month. Seeing that goal get closer and closer is what we should work towards. Save now so you can have the freedom to do what you want later.