25 Feb 2021
Any tips to save more from my salary?
Hi financially savvy people! I've been keeping track of my expenses but I still don't save a lot from my salary...any simple tips to try out?
Wiser minds than mine have spoken about tracking expenses and increasing your income, so let me offer a different perspective.
Instead of thinking about it as a money problem, why not approach it from the angle of time?
What rocks your boat and ignites your soul? For these activities, is there anything you can do to occupy your time for free?
I got to confess that I'm motivated by freebies. So when NLB launched this campaign that children below the age of 6 would get a lucky draw chance and stand to win a collection of books if they borrowed 30 books every month, guess who brought his son every weekend to the library? That's right. Yours truly. I like reading myself, so I take this opportunity to borrow a finance-related book. Then, after I finish reading the book, I blog about it. So, I indulge in a cycle of activities that help me engage in what I like meaningfully and not feel deprived.
Another example will be me walking 15,000 steps a day on the GETGREAT Singapore app if I bitterly wish to redeem some voucher. Some nights, I force myself to take a stroll downstairs so that I can meet my goal. Again, walking is free, not to mention healthy.
Savings-wise, it will be good to declare war on specific savings goals you set for yourself. Think about what are your short-term savings goals (big item purchase? rainy day funds? emergency funds?) and long-term saving goals (retirement funds?)
Then, with the savings you can conjure up, make sure that every dollar serves a purpose.
I'm not embarrassed to share that I went to open up a fixed deposit with ICBC because I could only spare $500 then and it was the only bank that allowed for minimum deposits of $500.
I'm also not embarrassed to share that last year, I diligently topped up my CPF whenever I felt I could spare $50. And this week, I learnt that I could win some cashback if I chose to top up my CPF through GooglePay. Guess who did so and was thrilled that he received 11 cents? And yes, I will top up my CPF every week for as long as this promotion will last. Hahaha.
Jia you and have fun!
Good job tracking your expenses! Honestly, that's the hardest step. I'm assuming you're trying to cut down on expenses. Here are some things you can try:
look at your past few months' expenses by category and ask yourself if what you've been spending on reflects your priorities. Ie if your spending is 60% food/drinks, 20% transport and 20% shopping, is it because you love food and are willing to spend on food? Or is it simply because it's the easy option (ie eat out/dabao instead of eating at home)? Or maybe you've been going out to meet friends a lot even though you don't wish to spend so much on food. If your spending doesn't reflect what's important to you, then it's time to make changes - so you can keep more of your spending money for things that bring you happiness. In this example, maybe try to eat at home more, or pack food from home if you'll be out during meal times.
look at the biggest categories of your spending and find ways to reduce it. This will usually be food, but may also be shopping and transport. Then look at what you've been spending on exactly, and whether or not those expenses were necessary/made you happy enough to be spending on them. Ie if you spend $50 on Grab every month, was it worth it? Were they emergencies or for important meetings? Or was it because you didn't manage your time properly/got lazy to take the bus/mrt?
lookout for "leaks" in your spending. This refers to expenses that you don't really make use of, and tend to be recurring subscriptions/membership fees.
The basic idea is that as much as possible, you want your spending to be on things that 1) are necessary and/or 2) bring you happiness - after all, money doesn't come easy right? How you define these criteria is entirely up to you.
It's great to be tracking expenses and trying to cut down on expenses to maximise savings, but don't forget that another way is to increase your earnings - it's a 2-way street. You can try upskilling, asking for a raise, or taking on a side hustle when you're off work.
Most importantly, don't let this stress you out! Take your time and go at a pace that you're comfortable with. It's much better to reduce spending gradually so that it's sustainable rather than by making big, sudden changes that you can't maintain. At the end of the day, what you want is a shift in your lifestyle.
You can also check out this thread for some lifehacks to save money - it may come in handy.
All the best!
To 'hang out with friends and go out occasionally' might not need as much money as you think, or...
Read 8 other comments with a Seedly account
You will also enjoy exclusive benefits and get access to members only features.
Sign up or login with an email here
Write your thoughts