1. Actually make a budget
Calculating the money you have coming in and going out is the easiest way to sock money away, say our experts. (There is literally an app called You Need a Budget—try it.) If you can, advises Bridget Casey, who runs the website Money After Graduation, leave 5 to 10 percent of your monthly budget unallocated. “This is enough to capture minor unexpected expenses without your having to cut costs elsewhere. Whatever you don’t use, transfer to savings.”
2. If you don’t see it, you won’t spend it
Automatic transfers are your best friend,” says Dave Nugent, chief investment officer at Wealthsimple. “Having an amount deposited in your savings or investment account means it just happens. You don’t get to convince yourself that you’ll contribute double next month because you had to chip in for that wedding gift.”
3. Don’t bow to peer pressure
Yes, it sucks being the only one who can’t blow $200 at Drake’s new resto. But if you don’t have the money, don’t spend it, and be honest with your friends about why, says Shannon Lee Simmons, a certified financial planner from The New School of Finance. “Let them know what’s not going to happen for you financially if you do [splurge]—you won’t be able to put money away toward your debt or a vacation,” she says. “Then, ask what else is possible.” You can always join them for a Drake-watch post-dinner drink.
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