Saving money - something we can all do more of! I managed to save $100,000 before 20, and these are five easy things you can do to instantly have more money in your bank account.
Now, we're not talking about eating 2 minute noodles and sleeping in your car. These are things that we can all do easily, in fact it's quite likely you might not notice much of a difference.
1. Go through all your transactions.
First things first - go through all your bank accounts and see everything you're spending money on. If you don't know how much you're spending, it's very likely that you're spending more than you think. The focus here isn't just to make you cringe, we are looking for all the recurring payments coming out of your account like rent, phone bills, gym memberships, subscriptions and everything else.
2. Cancel anything you don't use or need.
Time to eliminate some stuff! This is the same as throwing out old clothes. Don't think to yourself 'well one day maaaaybe I'll wear that'. Throw that sucker out!
The same goes for accounts. If you're paying for a gym membership but you're not going 3 times a week, cancel it. If you're paying for an extra 5GB of data on your phone plan that you can do without, cancel it! Magazine subscriptions, any paid social media accounts, apps, you name it. Anything and everything you realistically aren't using or do not need in your life (especially paying for smartphone games) has to go.
You may even find some payments you didn't even know you were paying in there. I was paying for Snowy Evening, a bug tracking platform for my app and I didn't even realise. It was over 6 months of $15 a month - imagine if there were three or four of these unknown or forgotten accounts, it's literally money out the window!
3. Switch accounts where required.
Once you've removed the things you don't need, you can now check for a better price on things. Phone plans and credit cards are the first things I would look at. Can you get a better plan elsewhere? Often if you tell your phone provider you want to switch to another cheaper company they will match it. Now you're paying less for the same thing and you didn't do anything!
With credit cards, transfer to banks where there are extended amounts of interest free time. If you can get another 12 months to pay off some debt and it saves you nasty interest rates, do it! This doesn't take too long, it's just a bit of research.
A quick note here, if you are in debt and you're paying interest, put everything you can into paying it off. The interest rates on credit cards are SO much higher than the interest you're earning on your savings in the bank. So if you're allocating some to debt and some to your savings, you will actually end up throwing away all those 'savings' anyway. Pay debt off quickly!
4. Share costs with friends.
There may be some things you still need, but the costs can be split with friends that also use the same service. For example I use an account for downloading music, but there can be up to three computers using it, so by sharing amongst us the cost is instantly reduced by nearly 70%.
This includes car pooling and anything else you can think of that you can do with a friend as opposed to doing alone. Even group PT sessions, Groupon deals, dining out and anything else you can think of.
5. Get addicted to saving.
This is a big one! It's a good addiction too, not a bad one. Whether you're in debt or you're just plain broke, any money you have going into your account is a nice feeling. It's important to get hooked on the feeling of always either having more cash available in your account, or chipping away at debt. Get excited every time you get paid, and preserve it! Keep building on that pile until it's big enough for you to invest and make even more money (that's when the fun starts!)
I saved $100,000 before I turned 20 and this is one of my biggest tips of advice. For the other ways I did it, check out the video below.