Saving money is one of the hardest things to figure out. It is even easier to spend money on things that we want than set aside a small portion of our earnings to the bank or even in our piggy bank. According to a 2016 study by the Money Advice, over16 million people in the United Kingdom have savings less than £100. In fact, low-income families have just £95.

How can we really save money?

Here are five easy and achievable steps to save money effectively:

Keep track of all your expenses

Remember to keep a record of your monthly expenses. This includes house rental, food, tuition, transportation, insurance, and utilities, among others. The total of your expenses will determine how much you can really save out of your income.

Set a realistic target of savings

After determining your total expenditures, specify an amount that you “should” save in a month. Make sure that your target saving is realistic – an amount that can be still be extracted from your income even with the presence of your expenses. Make it a habit to set aside the target amount.

Practice self-control

Do not overwhelm yourself with the sale, discounts, and promos. As much as possible, focus on your priorities. Moreover, discern on some spending that you think you can still survive without them. For example, do you need to go out on Saturday night? Or do you really have to sign up for Spotify Premium?

Don’t spend more than your earnings

Avoid spending more than what you are earning. This is to avoid you from resorting to loans and credits, then ending up with the burdens of debt. Debt is the number one hindrance why people cannot save. If you want to buy a car which is definitely cost more than your earning, we advise that you just wait, save, and come back the next year or the soonest.

Motivate yourself with a goal

Lastly, motivate yourself with a goal – family trip, a brand new car, or house renovation. Put these as the core reason why you even started saving.