Thousands of dollars doesn’t accumulate overnight, it takes persistence.
Focus on how your money works for you.
…not for anyone else.
Don’t worry about fancy money terms or that you don’t understand something.
Just start with: I earn this amount of money after taxes per week/month and this is how much I spend per month on average.
Fees will get you every time.
Watch out for all the rules with banking fees — how much you should keep as a minimum balance, how much it costs for a bounced cheque, and so on.
Other fees to watch out for are ATM fees ($1.50 for $20 is ridiculous — 7.5% of your money going down the drain) and credit card cash withdrawal fees.
If you live on less, save the rest.
Just because you live on less, doesn’t mean you will automatically save money by default.
You still have to do the second step of actually saving it, and moving it electronically or physically to a savings account.
You will break your budget on occasion.
Even if you are a die-hard budgeter like myself, you will break your budget. Sometimes regularly, sometimes not at all. Just be sure you have the whole picture in mind, rather than focusing on beating yourself up over an extra dinner out here and there.
Don’t buy anything just because it was on sale.
Yard sales, 50% sales, buy one get one sales… all of that is wasteful spending, if you didn’t need any of it in the first place.
Think about what you want to do with your money.
Get some priorities. If you love to travel, save up for that. If you want a home, save up for that. Don’t just travel and buy a home just because everyone else around you is doing it, and you’re feeling the itch to keep up with them.
Figure out what’s important to you.
Cook at home.
This saves you a killer amount of money, trust me. Even at 3 hotdog “meals” a day costing $3 each time, you are looking at $270 for the month.
$270 can buy you a lot more food at the grocery store than a sad little hotdog, three times a day.
Even in restaurants, when I hear them charge $1.95 for a bowl of RICE, I gasp involuntarily, because it only costs $5 for a big bag of rice.
2 bowls of rice would be equivalent to a bag of rice that would give you many, many bowls of rice.
The markup is insane in restaurants.