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Why money-saving habits are essential?
If you are doing a 9-to-5 job or have multiple jobs and a family to provide for, you know you are working very hard every day to earn a decent living. You should make sure that you are careful of spending the money you bring home. This is especially very important for those of us who have the variable income to pay for fixed expenses like rent, mortgage, and other needs of life. Budgets are created for this purpose. It’s a good tool to see at a glance what we have coming in, what’s going out (and what that money is paying for), and if there’s anything left at the end of the month to put into savings.
But in 2020, most of us are too distracted by the constantly demotivating news and the local impact of this global pandemic. Very few of us are actually sticking to our set budgets. Some of us had to drastically change our budgets- due to school closings, business closings, and social distancing. We did cut spending on eating out but we also purchased extra groceries and emergency preparedness supplies.
Budgets are life-saving but guess what is more important than budget? Habit. Those who have good money-saving habits, automatically take care of their financial life. They also create fortune without having a rigid budget. Like this guy below. He looks like my old uncle who was happy in his secured corporate job where he worked for 30+ years before retiring with a nice nest egg, a fully paid home, a rental property, and college-educated kids. He never had a household budget but he had some pretty neat money-saving habits.
Let us explore some of his DAILY money-saving habits. I added some to suit our modern busy lifestyle. Pick what suits you and stick with it for at least 21 days. I also have a habit tracker for you down below.
What is the best morning routine to save money every day?
- Wake up an hour earlier than you your regular waking time. It gives you enough time to plan your day, relax a bit and prepare your meals for the day.
- Spend 20 minutes outside in fresh air, barefoot. Activate your root chakra. It takes energy from the ground and provides it to your basic chakra. This is the most important chakra for earning money and investing it with success. For those of us living in cold areas, it may not be possible every morning during winter. You can open up windows and let the fresh air in for a few minutes. If this is absolutely not possible ( I do not know why it’s hard for some people), get yourself a good earthing mat to ground you for at least an hour a day. We use this Earthing mat and Earthing bedding in our household.
- Count your blessings. Better yet write them. They help you carry an attitude of gratitude all day long. Most of us spend our hard-earned money on getting happiness from frivolous things- called as Retail therapy for some Retail Gurus/ marketers. Seriously, when the credit card statements come at the end of the month, screaming for our attention to pay them before the due date, this kind of therapy does not soothe us. Gratitude helps you find reasons to be content with what you have already got.
- Read every day about money, even if you don’t understand much about it. You will build your knowledge about essential money management principles and tools. We frequently borrow money, personal finance-related books from our local library. We also read a lot of PF blogs like this to get an education. But the biggest help we have got in the last 7 years is from The Ultimate Collection of Money Management tools- courses, ebooks, workbooks, and coaching from Master Your Money Super-bundle. This is the best bank for your buck. Regular PF books may not cover all the tips and tricks we need for our individual life scenarios. Also, who can identify with Dave Ramsey, Suze Orman, and Robert Kiyosaki? They are all millionaires. We are not there yet- so their advice, although excellent may not hit close to home. I rather listen to real people like me who once struggled to manage their lives of below-average income and turned their lives around with some smart money management strategies. Check out this bundle today. It is usually available for a short period of time as they offer all the ebooks and courses for a 98% discount.
- Make yourself morning coffee or tea at home and to go.
- Pack your lunches and simple snacks for work, school, and outings for the day. We spend an average of 8-10 hours of our waking time outside the home, either at work, in schools, or at colleges. We are bound to get hungry and head to local cafes and restaurants to grab a quick bite. Now that is fine for once in a week if you are running short of time because you woke up late and had not time to pack your lunches/ meals. But if you do this every single day for 5 days a week, the cost adds up quickly. Please if you need to improve your financial life, get in the habit of packing your lunches- even if its for a few days a week. Invest in good lunch boxes- glass ones and insulated carriers to keep your food warm. My favorites are these.
- Spend some time planning your day. You can use a simple daily planner like this one or just use plain paper to plan big tasks of your day. If you are in the habit of creating a long list of things to do, please take a pause and understand that you have only 14-16 active hours to get things done during the day. So start with what is important for you and your family, then move to urgent tasks and let everything else fall into the later category. Just capture all your tasks into a big brain dump and select only things you can do in a day. I love the daily planner sheets by Bloom because it has space for most important tasks for the day, so I shut my buzzing brain and focus on just 3 of them for the day. I also like the concept of tear-off sheets that I can take with me wherever I go, instead of carrying a bulky planner. I also love that he has a space for daily gratitude and daily self-care/ exercise plus water intake. All things I forget to do when my days are packed and I ignore these important things in life.
- If you are planning to cook dinner for the day, plan for it in the morning. Soak your grains, slow cook meat on low so that it will be ready by evening. I love our Instant Pot. It has saved me a tonne of time for making all our meals at home. It has also replaced 3 different kitchen appliances in my tiny kitchen in the city- Slow cooker, Rice cooker, and Yogurt Maker. The best gift from my family. If you have a busy life and a bigger family than mine, it is a good idea to invest in an additional inner stainless steel pot. You can use it when the other needs to be washed and you can do not want to wash it with your hands or in the dishwasher.
- Carry your needs vs wants tracker with you to control impulse spending throughout the day. This is just to remind you that you have fixed bills to pay this month and there are some other variable expenses that may pop up during the month.
- Hug your loved ones, pets before you have to head out the door. If you are currently living alone, make sure you text or call your friends and loved ones wherever they are.
What is the best evening routine to save money every day?
- Sleep an hour earlier than you do currently. Ditto like waking up early in the morning. But sleeping an hour early will give you so many intangible benefits over a period of time. I will write a separate article on the benefits of sleeping early. But for now, let me tell you one key benefit that will save you money. A good night’s sleep of 6-7 hours every night will improve your memory- enough to never forget paying your bills on time or forget to use up the food or stuff that you bought over a century ago :).
- To sleep an hour earlier, plan your dinner earlier. Doctors and wellness experts recommend having at least 2 hours of gap between dinner and sleeping. So, plan your meal time accordingly. When it is not possible, do not fret. Have a light dinner that night with a focus on portion control.
- Watching television or streamlining videos is one of the reasons we all are going to bed late at night. So if you are planning to wake up early, you will have to cut down the amount of time you spend in front of the television.
- Instead of spending time with television, spend time with your loved ones. We love building puzzles together after dinner or sometimes we play the good old Scrabble game.
- Spend some time going over your day, track your expenses, and plan for the next day. Come back to the daily planner you used in the morning and add the stuff you want to get done the next day morning. Don’t forget to fill up your blessings for the day there. For those of you who are worried about finances and want to get out of debt faster, you can open up your budget planner and add your daily expenses in the trucking sheet there. My favorite budget planner is this one. It helps you track your daily expenses and evaluate your performance at the end of the month.
- Plan ahead for the next day’s lunches for work, school, and outings
- Spend 20 minutes walking after dinner, preferably outside in the fresh air. Do moon gazing, weather, and moon cycle permitting? It cools us down, relaxes us and the moonlight signals us to count our blessings again. Wind down from the hard days of work and sleep peacefully. Relaxing sleep is the most important for a productive day ahead. And when you are productive, you are wise with your finances.
- Count your blessings for the day. Better yet write them. They help you sleep well at night. If you are attentive enough up until this point, you will notice this point repeated again. Well- that’s on purpose. To help remind you that Gratitude is essential and absolutely required for a happy, content, frugal lifestyle- well everyone really. But you get the point.
- Read at least 20 minutes every night about any light topic you like. If reading about money makes you anxious, skip this at night. Read whatever you enjoy. For those who love non-fiction books like me, try reading fiction at night. Fictional books have the amazing ability to teach us great life lessons without having to go through those experiences ourselves.
- Avoid drinking any stimulating drinks after dinner, especially coffee and alcohol. If you need help relaxing, an herbal decaffeinated tea is better than decaffeinated coffee (It’s still a coffee 🙂 )
Habits tracker for you.
Take this handy one-page habits tracker and put it to good use for the next 30 days. See if any habits you tracked helped you save tout time and money? If you like what helped you, continue using it and share it with your loved ones.
Want more idea on money-saving habits?
This article first published on Consciousdebtfreelife.com
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