Every Penny Counts — How Can a $200 Monthly Food Budget Lead To a Vacation in Paris

At the end of the month, while you're calculating how much money you spent, it's natural to regret the day when you went overboard with your grocery shopping. You could have bought the smaller packet of Doritos. After all, you wasted money in feeding your body unhealthy food. Saving money is quite tricky when you are in the habit of splurging frequently.

If you're waiting for your next paycheck to start saving money, then you're falling into an endless trap. You will think the same when you get your hands on next month's salary. We have got some practical ways to help you save your salary starting today. You don't have to wait for the month to end to save some bucks. So, sit back and relax while you read our tips to save money from your salary.

Record Your Expenses

Notebook with a silver pen | Source: Pexels

Notebook with a silver pen | Source: Pexels

The first step in saving money is to know how much are you spending every month. Get hold of your bank statement and all the receipts that you got after spending money last month. You can record your expenses in two ways. Either go for the old-school handwritten method where you draw a table and record all the costs, or you can use an excel sheet to see how much money you have spent in the last month.

You might be surprised to know that you've bought groceries for twice the amount that you thought you had spent. But don't worry, you can rectify your mistakes by budgeting your expenses this month. Categorize your expenses into different groups such as utilities, gas, household supplies, food, and clothes. In this way, you will know how much you spent on each category, which will help you save money in the future. 

Budgeting 

Black calculator and silver pen on a white piece of paper | Source: Pexels

Black calculator and silver pen on a white piece of paper | Source: Pexels

After you have recorded your expenses, you get a rough idea of where your money goes, and now you can easily set a budget for each category so that you don't overspend your salary. With budgeting, you have to be strict with yourself and stick to the budget you have allocated for each group. If you have designated $200 for food, you need to stick to this amount no matter if that means you have to cook food at home and say goodbye to the frequent dine-outs. 

By budgeting your expenses, you can automatically save about 10-15% of your salary every month, and that will add up to make a good amount that you could use to travel on a budget or buy a new gadget for yourself. Who doesn't wish to buy the latest iPhone? It's only possible if you save money by setting strict rules and following them no matter what happens. 

Cut Down Costs

Shopping cart with grocery items in a supermarket | Source: Pexels

Shopping cart with grocery items in a supermarket | Source: Pexels

Do you think you really need to buy that huge candy bar this month? We all know that candies and chocolates have no proven benefits except that they taste good. Not buying unhealthy foods can help you save a massive chunk of your salary. 

Similarly, if you're living in a house that has extra rooms and you're sure you won't need them in the future, then you can consider moving into a smaller home to save some bucks every month. Moreover, you can also save money on transportation. Instead of driving your four-seater car to work alone, you can carpool with your coworkers who live nearby. Doing so will help you significantly cut down the money you spend on gas. 

You can also save money by avoiding buying unnecessary things that you know you really don't need. Especially while living in times like these, you don't have to spend money buying home decor items or fancy dinnerware. We all know no one will visit us anytime soon, so why waste money on buying things that you surely won't use? We're sure you can think of many such splurges that you did in the past months, and now you feel bad about it. Don't worry. You still have time to cut down costs. It's never too late to learn from your mistakes, isn't it? 

Don't Save Your Credit Card Number

Person holding bank card in front of laptop | Source: Pexels

Person holding bank card in front of laptop | Source: Pexels

We're all guilty of spending money on online purchases that we don't need at all. This happens because most of us have saved out credit card information on our computer, and a single click is enough to purchase something from an online store within no time. 

A great way to avoid such things happening in the future is to delete your credit card information from your computer and never save it. This way, whenever you feel the need to make a purchase, you will have to get your hands on your credit card and enter the details all by yourself. If you're a lazy person (like most of us), then we are sure this trick will help you save some bucks every month.

On top of this, you can even try keeping your credit card in a place that's not easily accessible for you. A cabinet that's higher than your height would do the trick. You would need to climb on a stool to reach your credit card, and you won't make yourself go through the hassle every time your eye catches something attractive on an online store. You would probably swipe down or close the website once you think of getting your hands on your credit card. 

Open Another Bank Account 

Person holding $100 notes | Source: Pexels

Person holding $100 notes | Source: Pexels

Here's another simple yet effective way to save money from your salary. All you need to do is open another bank account that's solely for saving money. You will have to make it impossible for yourself to withdraw money from that account, and you can do that by not opting for a credit/debit card and not signing up for a checkbook. This will help you avoid spending money from that account.

When you get the salary at the start of every month, decide an amount you would like to save and transfer it to your savings account the same day you receive your paycheck. It will make you feel like you never received that amount, but you are actually saving that chunk of your salary. 

You may even ask your employer to deposit the savings amount into your new account directly, or you can schedule an automated transfer whenever you receive your paycheck. This tip will surely help you save money that will help you in the future, either in terms of an emergency payment or some big goal that you might be struggling to achieve. 

Work Towards A Goal 

Silver Mercedes Benz parked near trees | Source: Pexels

Silver Mercedes Benz parked near trees | Source: Pexels

Another effective way that can help you save money is to work towards a goal. Say, for instance, you wish to buy a car that you have always dreamt of driving. First, you'll need to check the best price you can get that car in. Then, look at your expenses and see the maximum possible amount of money you can save every month without compromising your needs. Once you decide on a figure in mind, keep that amount aside when your salary gets credited to your bank account.

Within a few months, you will have a good amount of savings in your bank account, and you will be able to fulfill your dreams without any hassle. However, you need to keep in mind that this method will take a lot of time and persistence. You will be tempted to spend the money you have saved, but don't let those thoughts fool you. Once you start spending from your savings, there's no going back. So make sure you follow these tips very strictly. 

If you enjoyed reading this article, you might also like this one about what to watch on TV this month. We have listed some great movie and TV series recommendations for you.

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