One of the best strategies I’ve heard as method to save money is to pay yourself first. With this approach, you address your savings goals as the first item in your budget, rather than the last. The principle is that if you address savings as a goal on the bottom of your list (meaning you ‘pay yourself last’), you’ll always find other things to spend the money on and you’ll miss the opportunity to meet or stretch your savings goals.
The money approach. Say your goal is to save 10% toward retirement. If you use the ‘pay yourself last’ approach, you’ll address most or all of your budget items before you get to savings. More often than not, you’ll have less than your stated goal available when you get to the end (and if you still do, then it’s probably time to increase your goals!) Many times, there won’t be anything left at all, which is how so many people go years and years without saving a single dime for retirement.