It’s never too early to start saving. It will pay you great dividends if you start saving money as a youngster. Unfortunately, as young people we behave as if we are never going to grow old, and we’re never going to need more money than we need to spend on gadgets, fast food and chilling out.
This article lays down reasons why youngsters find it difficult to save money. But let us flip the entire idea upside down and rather than thinking about how we lose money when we are young, let us think about how we can save money so that by the time we actually start living (you know, having a house, and a family to care for, and preparing for retirement), we have some spare cash and we fully realize the importance of keeping it safe.
Actively start thinking about saving money
Regular thinking often leads to action. If you find saving boring (naturally, since spending means getting new things and getting new experiences) you are not alone. You need to change your attitude first of all. Talk about saving money. If your friends and siblings are not serious about it, raise the topic whenever you get opportunity. If they still remain uninterested, chart your own way. Do some reading and writing about how you can save money without curtailing your current lifestyle. It can be done. You just need to prepare your budget and then stick to it. There are great many books and blogs on saving money. Start reading them.
Be stingy about your credit card
Got a credit card? It can be a great temptation because you are not physically paying cash. Sometimes you don’t even realize how much you are spending because the figures aren’t right in front of you. They are just being added somewhere else, in some distant machine. The credit card is not as friendly as it may seem when you’re spending money through it. The credit card companies keep record of your every transaction and they are going to charge heavy interest because after all, that’s how they earn. They are not running a social service by giving a credit card to you (when they are offering a new credit card, they actually sound as if they are doing some social service). They not only want their money back, they also want to charge you extra for not paying your credit card dues on time. So the more you spend via your credit card, the higher interest you pay. Remember that its credit, it’s not the money you have with you. Someone is giving that money to you so that later on it can be retrieved from you with interest. The current economic meltdown in the Western countries can be attributed to people’s tendency to use their credit cards without giving a second thought to how they’re going to pay back.
Do you really need a car?
People have this misconception that once they have a car, they have arrived, they have grown up. Well, this is an antediluvian mentality. The baby boomers perpetuated this concept of materialism and possession of a car symbolizes that. Why do you need a car, especially when you have a functional public transport system? Even if you don’t much use public transport, there are many ways you can have a great time without purchasing a car. In fact in busy cities like New York and Mumbai people don’t use their cars simply because everybody seems to be using them, causing massive traffic jams in the process – it proves counterproductive. A car can be a big expense. You don’t just spend lots of money purchasing the car of your choice, there are also ongoing maintenance costs. Of course, the ever rising fuel prices.
Into your first job? Hold your horses
Your first job, and consequently, your first pay, can be really exciting. Fast food companies like Domino’s even exhort you to spend your first pay on giving a pizza party to your friends. Remember that these pizzas are not free. Don’t give in to temptations – nobody wants to sell you products and services for free no matter how emotional they sound. Anyway, when you get your first pay, it seems that you have got lots of money, suddenly. I’m not saying that you should have no fun at all, but save at least some portion of your money in a separate account, and try to do that every month.
You want that new smartphone, seriously?
Every month a new smartphone is launched, whether it is Samsung Galaxy or the iPhone. These companies need the hype because they need to make the money. They act as if buying their new phone is the most important decision you’re going to take, even though if they were making the same claim two years ago for the version they launched at that time. So don’t go for the trap. You actually don’t need all the features being offered in the new smart phone and your existing phone is quite cool. And anyway, since everybody around you is going to buy that phone, there is nothing even unique about it.
Saving money as a youngster is an attitude, it is a habit and you have to be mentally ready for it. Otherwise you will lose track. That is why it is very important to think of saving money at regular intervals, preferably, everyday. Whenever you’re going to spend money, just stop for a few seconds and think – do I really need to spend my money here?