The mind is a fascinating organ. We have the power to achieve anything we so desire if we can tune our mind to that specific goal. It is IMPERATIVE that one must have a goal if they wish to reach their full potential. The targets we set are a potent source of motivation to get us through the hard times.
Saving money is not (and should not be) the goal, but it is frequently seen as the path to achieving the targets that we set for ourselves.
So to reiterate, define your specific goals:
Are you planning to travel to a certain place?
Are you saving for a new backpack?
Is the fridge looking pretty empty?...
Yes? Then keep reading!
Using all the available elements, create a savings formula.
Lets take travelling as an example:
Days spent in place * Amount needed per day (accommodation, food, spending money) + Flights + Extras (insurance, etc.) = Savings needed
Savings needed / number of weeks before flight = Savings needed per week
Explanation: Every week the savings per week should be transferred from your income to an account which you do not touch except for traveling. This money will always be available, but this is a test of your will power, to tell yourself that this is untouchable. This technique will reduce expenses and help you save to achieve goals.
Make a list of EVERYTHING you spend money on
Picture of a pen paper and check list
Another very important aspect to cutting down your outflows, is understanding where you are spending your money. By recording your expenses, you can determine how to allocate your finances more efficiently.
Unhealthy habits are manifest themselves as a product of indulgence. These unnecessary expenses will empty your bank account and prevent you achieving your full potential.
How many times do you walk out of a shop and instantly question your purchase? If you make a list of everything you spend money on, you will begin to realise where your hard earned money disappears to!
With every expense, ask yourself whether you would rather spend your money on this or spend it travelling to another country. You will find that you filter out the unnecessary, and are left with rent, food, transport, etc. etc, the raw necessities.
Stop wasting money on energy products (sugars, coffee, chocolate, energy drinks)
Picture of and sugar molecular structures
Physically and mentally you will feel incredible if you can relieve yourself of the two most addictive substances we ingest regularly: Sugar and Caffeine.
Make a list of everything you consume containing these two substances.
If you really need your caffeine hit but still want to move away from coffee, Guarana is a fantastic natural source of caffeine, which contains molecules called tannins. These ensure that the caffeine is released slowly when you consume it. Blended into a fresh smoothie, it can make a great substitute for coffee.
Stevia leaf in it's natural form is another excellent sweetener which does you almost no harm!
Obviously giving up sugar and caffeine entirely is very difficult, we are not there yet either, but it is a step in the right direction helping you save plenty of money!
Stop wasting money on alcohol and cigarettes.
Make sure you add these two factors to your list of expenses.
The average smoker spends $150 per week on cigarettes, and the average drinker will spend $50 on alcohol per week (although if you drink 'regularly', these numbers escalate).
By these statistics, a month in Indonesia costs 2-3 weeks drinking and smoking.
Eat more veggies!
We can’t stress this one enough, as a vegan (or a vegetarian) the amount of money you save is astonishing!
Raw vegetables are very cost friendly and if you head to a local farmers market you will get some outrageous deals! Try 150 mangoes for $75 at the West End market in Brisbane! Make sure you go just as the markets are closing, when discounts are rife amongst the stalls.
Efficient, effective and fairly priced public transport is still a dream for most cities, buy a bike and pedal or walk as much as you can.
Save all the coins: Promise yourself never to spend a coin again. By paying with notes it will seem like your spending a lot more even when you are not, driving you to be more aware of how you spend your money.
You can even up-cycle a jar for use as a piggy bank.
Before you set off on your trip, count up your coins and exchange them for notes (as foreign exchange offices won't take coins!).