1. Know your current financial standing.
Before you can make any plans to save for any activity, be it for your children's education, retirement or buy that dream home, you need to know where you stand financially today. You may need to take the trouble of getting a financial planner if you do not know how to create a financial plan. If you do know how to create a financial plan then you can save a fair bit of money in engaging a financial planner.
2. Save regularly.
Getting into the habit of saving is a good virtue. You will never know when you are in dire need of that extra cash when unforeseen events happen like job retrenchment or a loved one becomes ill which requires a lot of medical attention incurring high medical costs. As a guide it is a must for you to have set aside 3-6 months of your current salary to meet emergency needs.
3. Control your cash flow.
No matter how rich you are, you must be able to control your cash flow. The simple rule is what comes into your pocket needs to be more than what goes out of your pocket. You need to be aware which item is giving you income and what is causing you to spend.
4. Reduce your expenses
Start by keeping track of your daily, weekly then monthly expenses. Find those expenses that are not a necessity and eliminate them. A good example of this is paying for magazine subscriptions which you do not read. When you have identified all these items that are not worth your dollar, you can greatly reduce your expenses by 25-30%. It is advisable to only have one credit card so that you can better track your expenses. Make sure you pay the full amount by the due date of every credit card invoice before it snowballs into an incredible debt.
5. Review your debts
As a rule of thumb, your debt incurrence should not exceed 30-35% of your total income. Gambling and vices are good candidates that can lead you into debt. Poor money management can also lead you into debt even you could have struck the 2 million lottery or inherited a big wealth from your relative.
6. Be frugal but not stingy
Only purchase goods when it gives you good value for your money. It is wise if you know when to buy something of quality and pay a premium versus when to buy something less branded but still serves the same purpose as a branded item. If you were to always choose the items based on cheap pricing, that item could fail in a short time causing you to purchase another, this will lead you into greater expenses than you originally did not anticipate. You will also be labeled as someone who is stingy, not willing to spend the money when it is absolutely necessary.
7. Review your investment portfolio
If you have invested in stocks, mutual funds (unit trusts) or the various funds, you would like to review them on a regular basis. Your review period could be quarterly, half-yearly or annually. For example, when you have done your quarterly analysis and find that the company stock you have invested is not giving your target returns based on financial figures or external interference, then you would want to replace that stock with a better performing company stock.
8. Educate yourself financially
There is a wealth of financial information and it is free when you surf the internet or go to your neighborhood library. You could attend seminars, read books, read newspapers and listen to audio tapes which are some of the ways where you can get more knowledge.
9. Be generous
There is a famous saying "You get what you give". When you are generous, some how the spiritual forces know this and reward you back many times over. When you give, there is a natural tendency for the other person who receives will want to give you back.
10. Pay yourself first
Before you pay all your monthly expenses, you should cultivate the habit of paying yourself first. If you have a day job, when it comes to pay day, you can start putting say 5% of your salary into another bank account. You can gradually increase this percentage when you have more take home pay or you feel you deserve more reward. Many people pay themselves last. By the time they have paid off other expenses, they will have nothing to pay themselves.