How to Save Money without Neglecting Your Financial Responsibilities


Bronze Wordsmith
May 17, 2018
I think it’s safe to assume that most of us are looking to increase our wealth. And there are lots of ways to do it. The trick to accumulating money is knowing that actual income is only half the story. The other half is saving that money. You could have a multi-million dollar monthly salary (now, wouldn’t that be nice?) but if your monthly expenses are also millions of dollars, then you’re not as rich as that salary makes you out to be. In fact, a personal financial guru once told me that wealth is the gap between how much you spend and how much you make. If you spend way less than the amount you earn monthly, congratulations, I would consider you wealthy.

Of course, that’s easier said than done. What with all the bills, necessities, and emergencies we need to pay for regularly. After all the bills and utilities have been paid, and our bank books balanced, it isn’t a rare occurrence for many of us to not have much money left.

The thing is, having a sizable savings account isn’t just recommendable, I would consider it a necessity. Because let’s face it, bad things happen when we least expect it. I’m not being cynical or anything – I’m just stating facts. Sometimes, it’s a sudden need for emergency home repairs. Sometimes, the car needs a new transmission (coming from someone who’s had to get two replacement transmissions, that is always super-painful). So we need savings. The more, the better. But how do we save when we’ve got so many payables and financial obligations to attend to every month?

If you’ve ever asked that question, relax. This post is for you. Today, I’ll be writing about money saving strategies and money management strategies that let you save without your financial responsibilities. But first, I need to clarify something. While the methods listed here will try to minimize the sacrifices you’ll need to do, at the end of the day you will still need to sacrifice. That’s just the reality of things. But that doesn’t mean you’ll be miserable. Quite the contrary, actually. Using these strategies for saving money is actually a relaxing and heartening endeavor, since seeing your nest egg grow always feels good. So without further ado, here are my favorite strategies to save money. Read on, and start saving!

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Use Cash When Possible

In the age of digital transactions, it’s easier than ever to spend (and even harder to save). The convenience is a big part of it. With a credit card or PayPal, it’s super-easy to spend the money wherever you are. Unfortunately, this also means it’s easier than ever to get into debt. Because when you use a credit card, it doesn’t feel like you’re using “real” money. The money you’re spending isn’t really tangible… or at least, it isn’t tangible until your monthly bill comes, then you’ll have to pay it off with real-world money.

So here’s a trick to spend less: use cash whenever possible. The thing about cash is, it accurately represents the amount of money you have. If you have lots of cash, it means you have lots of money. And when you spend in cash, you can literally see the money leaving your wallet. This makes it relatively easier to stay disciplined. Because with cash, it feels like you’re spending real-world money. With credit cards, it’s a bit more abstract; you don’t really see the money you’re spending. Heck, you don’t even need to be able to afford the item at the time of purchase (and that’s where they get you).

Now, I keep my credit cards in a locked drawer for strict emergencies. For the most part, I use cash. And this has made it easier for me to control my spending, and that, in turn, leads to more savings!

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Focus on Your Debt First

Nothing drains your finances like debt, especially credit card debt. With debt, you’re paying the amount you borrowed and interest. And when it comes to credit card debt, the longer you leave it unpaid (maybe you prefer paying the minimum fee each month), the more you’ll have to pay in the long run. You’ll find lots of conflicting advice on whether to save your money or pay off all your debt first. There’s merit to all the arguments, but I personally prefer the latter.

You need to put yourself in a position where you can make the most of the money you’re making. If you leave your debt unchecked, most of your money will go into paying that debt. And that will prevent you from saving. Which, in turn, will prevent you from paying your debt. Which will prevent you from saving… see where I’m going with this? It’s a twisted, vicious cycle. And that’s why I recommend paying off your debt first or at least lowering it to a manageable level. That way, the money you save actually goes into savings, instead of paying interest.

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Know When to Treat Yourself

Saving money can seem like an arduous task. You keep putting money into a bank account for emergencies that may or may not come. Saving money is its own reward, which might be difficult to comprehend when we’re conditioned to always work towards some sort of tangible reward. And that’s why I recommend that you treat yourself, within reason, whenever you hit a certain milestone. I need to emphasize the term “within reason.” Don’t empty your savings account and splurge on a new sports car or luxury cruise. Doing those things will only drag you back to square one.

But when you indulge in some relatively minor rewards, like having a nice dinner out or a weekend road trip, you’re rewarding yourself while keeping most of your savings intact. And that reward is a powerful thing because it tells you that that saving money is worthwhile. It lets you see the fruits of your labor and sacrifices. And that will make it easier for you to save even more money!

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