We all dream of living in a world where we don’t have to worry about money—where our wallets are always full and we have the freedom to live our lives to their fullest without constantly asking ourselves how we’re going to finance it. In order to one day achieve the financial freedom you desire, you must first save now for that future. Not sure where to start? These easy money-saving hacks for men will put you on the right track.
Prioritize Your Fun Money
A certain percentage of your income goes towards things that you don’t need. Whether it’s a cup of coffee in the morning or a video game on the weekends, it’s okay to have a monetary vice. But this becomes a problem when everything is a treat. If you’re buying coffee out every morning, ordering lunch out every afternoon, going out to eat with your wife on weekends, and splurging on video games, you may find that more of your money is going to your “fun” account than anywhere else.
So how do you nip this habit in the bud? Choose one thing that you’re going to spend your fun money on and how often you’re going to do it. Then, cut out the other unnecessary expenses. This will allow you to feel like you’re still getting regular treats for yourself without you getting all the treats.
Save Before You Spend
You should know how much money you need each month for fixed expenses, like your mortgage and your car payment, and you should have an idea of how much money you need for variable expenses like groceries and gas. Knowing that, you can determine how much of your paycheck can realistically be saved every pay period.
Believe it or not, you can have your employer split your paycheck up and deposit it into two different accounts. Every pay period, automatically have a portion of your check deposited into your savings account so that you never see it hit your checking account. This can prevent you from having a mentality of “oh, I’ll just use that money to pay for X expense this one time,” which can seriously limit your ability to save.
Put Away for Retirement
Did you know the vast majority of working adults will not have enough money to live on when they reach retirement age? If you want to achieve financial independence, you need to think long-term about your money rather than short-term, which means making it a priority to set money aside for retirement. You should be setting aside at least 15% of your income if you want to live a similar lifestyle after you’re done working.
Sometimes, there are variable expenses in your life that disguise themselves as fixed expenses. Whether it’s the rate you pay for car insurance, for oil, or for your cell phone plan, there’s a chance that you could get your services cheaper if you spent some time calling around. Plan time on your calendar about every 6 months – 1 year to call and ask if you can receive a lower rate. If not, you can also try shopping your rates around to see if someone in your area is willing to do the same service for less.
Drop Expenses You Don’t Need
Cable. Netflix. Hulu. Amazon Prime. HBO Now. There are so many ways to consume television these days that it’s almost criminal. Amazingly, some people pay for all of these services, even though they cannot possibly watch all the different streaming networks.
Pay attention for one month to which services you use. If you are mainly a Netflix family, consider whether it would be possible to drop cable or Hulu.
This is true for other expenses as well. Are you paying for a Pandora One subscription but only listening to Spotify? Do you pay for a gym membership you don’t use? Take a close look at what you’re paying for on a monthly basis and cut out what you don’t need.
Saving money doesn’t have to mean eating Raman noodles for every meal and skipping out on doing anything fun. What it does mean is prioritizing what’s important for you and realizing that instant gratification doesn’t do anything to help you achieve long-term happiness. Working on financial stability in the long-term rather than cheap “treats” now will allow you to have a smarter, more stable lifestyle.