Step One: Examine your costs
What are the things you have to pay for on a monthly basis that you NEED and cannot live without? Food, Shelter, Insurance goes into this category. Are there ways you can lower this number? Shelter can include mortgages on a home, rent, whatever. If you need transportation for work, that is a necessity, but do you need a brand new car payment, or do you live too far from where you work so that 4 hours of your weekly paycheck go to pay for your transportation? These are the things you must analyze and then reexamine every few months.
Step Two: Determine your Survival Number
This is how much money you need to have saved, meaning whatever your monthly costs are times 6, needs to be in a savings account that you don’t mess with. In an emergency, this will get you through 6 months (some very cautious people prefer 12 months)
Step Three: Alternative Income Streams.
Once you figure out EXACTLY how much money YOU NEED each month to survive, and then you have saved up your survival number, it’s time for the best part. Investing in your future!
(At this point you may be wondering, if you have even read this far, what this has to do with helping you save money. Stay with me)
For me, and many like me, it’s tough to budget and save with no plan, or structure. “Just throwing money into a savings account and hoping it turns into a million dollars, but oops, I needed new tires and now I am back to square one“
My purpose was to never have to work for someone else again. I would do anything to achieve this goal, even if it meant temporarily having to work for other people. Whatever it took, I had a purpose. I needed to find a way to generate enough income to cover my monthly expenses. If I could generate this income, and kept my expenses where they were, then I WOULD NEVER NEED TO GET A JOB AGAIN.
When your passive income exceeds your expenses, you are free to live the life you choose. I told my parents my plan at 24 years old. My mom told me I needed health insurance; In her mind that meant I needed to get a job. In my mind that meant finding out what it would cost, and then start a business, a company, projects, invest in a stock that pays dividends, buy a cash flow rental property, whatever it took!
Saving money is hard, especially when you don’t have structure, a strategy or a purpose.
If you can determine your WHY, it becomes easier. Why do I want to save money? Family? Freedoms? Travel? Adventure? Nerves? It doesn’t matter as long as it works for you!
Then instead of buying this or that you think about your why.
- Determine your necessary expense costs
- Save up your survival number
- Focus on increasing your passive income to exceed your expense numbers.
- Keep growing it! Don’t increase expenses. If you want something new, find a new monthly income stream first!
I know this is a long post, but if you have made it this far you have a little more left in you. I call this whole belief concept the Cash Flow Lifestyle. Focus on the passive income first.
I wanted a new truck (a really nice one) after I had my first company succeed. I was making money, living in my own place and had multiple streams of income. Better yet I had enough cash saved up to buy the truck I wanted cash! It was about $50,000 (approximately 14-15 million Naira) for a Ford F-150 Platinum, brand new blah blah.
It was on my ‘vision board’ for over a year. Sure, all the budget books say buy a used one, but I have never had a new car before. But instead of buying the Truck, I instead bought a rental property with the money I saved up, and it was cash flow positive at about $450/month (app. N130,000 naira/month).
I financed the truck for 5 years and this monthly cash flow paid for the truck payment. Sounds pretty good right?
Better yet, eventually this truck was paid off and I still owned this asset! The monthly income not only continued, but it GREW. Additionally, the value of the property GREW! Today, the property has risen in value, I no longer own that truck which had a trade in value of about half what I paid for it.
So what does all this have to do about tricks for saving money?
For me, focusing on the big picture made saving on a day to day period not only doable, but easy. It became a lifestyle. Budgeting is like dieting. But lifestyle changes are permanent. There are a lot of tricks to save money. Don’t buy Starbucks. Cook meals at home. Blah blah. I know, they do work if you can actually do it.
But the problem is splurging. If you don’t have structure, you will eventually have a feeling of “what am I saving for anyway”, and then buy something you don’t need just to feel better.
- Focus on your INCOME,
- Keep Expenses LOW
- Find your WHY
- Keep Growing your INCOME
- Keep Your Expenses LOW because this will have the same impact as increasing income, but is much easier to do.
For more information on this concept, or ways to grow passive income, check out www.CashFlowLifestyle.net