Your very first job is exciting isn’t it? You’ve already got butterflies in your stomach and several ideas about how you’re going to spend your first paycheck.
The last thing you want to think about is your retirement. However, before you receive your first paycheck is the best possible time to create your budget checklist.
The sooner you start saving the better off you’ll be in your later years, and you don’t have to just save for your retirement either. It’s wise to start saving now for those big-ticket items like your first car, your first home, or perhaps even your wedding.
Do I Really Need to Create a Budget Checklist to Save Money for My Future?
Here’s our first tip for saving money: Create a budget checklist, right from the word go and make sure you follow it. If you set aside money for savings from your very first paycheck, you’re not going to miss that cash at all.
A good place to start when creating a budget is to make sure all your regular bills are paid first. These include rent, utilities, phone, internet, food, travel, insurance etc. After they’ve been paid, you can put aside money for things like entertainment and clothes.
We’ve found 5 of the most helpful tips that you need to include in your budget checklist if you want to be able to splash out every now and then or buy that luxury condo for your retirement.
Turn the Television Off
Obviously, the first money saving advantage of turning your tv off is that you’re going to save money on electricity and cable subscriptions, but there are others you might not have considered.
Spending less time watching television will give you more time to pursue other interests. You could start a side hustle, for example, and who knows, it may even turn into a full-time business for you.
Another advantage of turning off your tv is that you won’t be bombarded with commercials every seven minutes or so. Commercials tempt you to spend money, that’s what they’re for and often, particularly during meal times, those commercials are encouraging you to buy food. And we all know that’s not usually healthy food.
Turn your television off and use the money you save to invest in training or a small business venture.
Customer Reward Programs are Your Friend
Today’s retailers know the advantages of offering customer reward programs to their customers. It may take a while to earn enough points to receive a substantial reward, but if you’re going to buy those products anyway why not buy them from a retailer that’s going to reward you for being a loyal customer?
Host a Swapping Party
This tip is a two-for-one. Swapping parties can be enormous fun and they’re a great way of saving entertainment money.
Add the cost of nibbles to your budget checklist and once a month, host a swap party. You’ll save on “going out” money, you’ll spend some time with friends, and you can all take turns at hosting a party.
What kinds of things can you swap? The list is endless: clothes, books, video games, CDs, DVDs, sports equipment are all possibilities. You can even swap skills and services.
Do you need to create a website for your new side hustle? Ask your IT genius friend to do that for you while you do their housework.
Learn how to Do-it-Yourself
We don’t advise doing your own electrical repairs, however, there are a lot of other things you can do yourself instead of paying someone else. Why don’t you borrow your Mom’s sewing machine and repair or alter your clothes?
You could grow your own vegetables and if you don’t have enough space for a garden you can always grow herbs in window boxes.
Making your own gifts is a great money saver and everyone appreciates the amount of time and thought that goes into creating them. And don’t forget that anything you make, you can also sell.
Buy Generic Products Wherever Possible
Your friends don’t care if you use a $5 moisturizer rather than a $40 brand name. And if they do care? Get some better friends.
Despite what the commercials tell you, cheaper products often work just as well as more expensive ones. There’s also no need to buy a separate cleaning product for every different household surface.
There is very little in this world that can’t be cleaned with a mixture of baking soda and white vinegar.
Why Shouldn’t I Enjoy My Money for a While Before I Start Thinking About Saving?
Because that will make it so much harder. The earlier you start saving money, the more you’ll have available when you need it. This life is an unpredictable thing and you can never be sure when you’re going to be hit with an unexpected expense.
Bankrate.com recommends that your emergency fund has enough money in it to pay your essential expenses for 3 to 6 months. Keep that in mind when you’re creating your budget checklist and there shouldn’t be any nasty surprises in your near future.