Saving money is a necessary evil. It’s one of those things that we really do not enjoy doing even though it is ultimately for our own good.

The following are easy ways to save money:

Have a budget: Rule number when it comes to saving is obviously having a budget. A budget helps you keep track of your cash flow. When budgeting, always underestimate your income and over estimate your expenses. This gives you room for fluctuating expenses without going overboard on your earnings.

Use cash: Paying using cash may not be as convenient as using bank cards but it keeps you from overspending. Chances of spending way beyond your means are high with credit and debit cards because you pull cash directly from your account without knowing exactly how much money you have. With cash, you have a better chance of knowing just how much you have because you see the supply running low. When using the cash system, withdraw money once to keep bank withdrawal charges on a minimum. Then separate the cash according to your expenses. You could keep the money in labeled jars such as a jar for food and another for gas money. This method is highly effective and is a good reminder of your limits.

Have a financial goal: It is always good to have something that motivates you when saving. Establish a time frame for your goals and make sure this time frame is attainable otherwise you will end up being discouraged. For example when saving to buy a home give yourself enough time to save up for the home putting into consideration how much money you plan to save monthly.

Be frugal: Being frugal does not necessarily mean you become a cheap skate; you just have to be pennywise. A good way of being penny wise is shopping in bulk, using coupons and going for deals and discounts. This way you end up buying more for much less. Another great way to save by being frugal is cutting down on expenses like eating out by having home cooked meals, cut down on electricity bills by practicing energy saving measures or even cutting fuel expenses by car pooling.

Open a Savings account: Saving is much easier when you separate the savings from spending money. Having a savings account will help you keep track of your money without worrying about whether or not you have dipped into the cash. You could ask your bank to automatically direct a specified amount from your regular account every beginning of the month. Most banks offer higher interest rates on saving accounts than normal accounts.

Pay yourself first: Paying yourself first is a good way to keep money aside for savings. Give yourself a certain percentage of your income then use the rest for your expenses. This method requires little thought and you end up having a good sum of money after a couple of years.

Good things take time and saving is one of those things which take time and dedication. You will be amazed by how much money you will have to fulfill your dreams if you start saving early in life. The most important thing to do in your journey to being financially independent is living within your means.