PERSONAL FINANCE

The Art of Saving Money

5 Tips for always having money in the bank

Christina Sng
4 min readAug 2, 2020

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Photo credit: Pixabay

1. Pay Yourself First

If you have a regular income, set an automatic transfer to a separate savings account so you never touch it.

If your work pays you irregularly, set aside a percentage of that amount and transfer that amount to your special savings account right away.

Only then do you budget for the amount in your regular savings account. You’ll be surprised how you can manage with the lesser amount.

2. Record all your spending

Choose a method so seamless, you will actually use it. There are two ways to do this but the key thing is that it is fast and easy to do.

  • Use an app and make sure it loads quickly. When you’re carrying bags of groceries or have a long queue waiting behind you, you don’t want to spend 10 seconds waiting for the app to load. If it takes too long, you won’t use it. There are many free ones to try out on the app stores.
  • Use a notebook and pen. Make sure it is easily accessible so you can log down your purchases immediately. My sleight of hand is slow now so notebooks don’t work so well for me. But my Dad lived by that little blue 555 notebook in his shirt pocket and his Parker pen.

3. Categorize every purchase

Put in categories like Rent, Utilities, Groceries, Deliveries, Eating Out, Self-Care, Education, for example, so you can tell where most of your money goes. See where you can cut back and where it is a priority. Your app or notebook should have a section to quickly add this.

Include an Anomaly section for a rare occurrence such as Winning the Lottery or Emergency Surgery for Cat who Escaped from Home and Fought Neighbourhood Cats and Almost Lost an Ear (True story! See this essay below).

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Christina Sng

Three-time Bram Stoker Award-winning author and Stoker nominated essayist. Vice President of the SFPA.