If only saving was as easy as spending, many people would be financially independent and stable. As it is, one act is easy—spending, while the other is very difficult: saving. According to the latest survey from GoBankingRates.com, 69% of Americans have less than $1,000 set aside as savings. Even people with as much as $150,000 annual salary don’t have enough savings in the bank. The website asked 7,000 Americans to determine the fiscal stability among the people in America.

One of the reasons people are having a hard time saving is because people usually prioritize their current needs—and “needs” in this aspect is loosely used. That would include the basic priorities of food, shelter, clothing, utilities and some of those considered necessary luxury like iPhones and designer handbags and the like. What are not in the budget are one’s future needs like a retirement fund or the rainy day savings.

Here are 7 tips to save money quickly:

1. Create a budget

It helps when we write down a budget. Putting it on paper gives it a sense of validity and permanence. Create a daily budget, a weekly budget and a monthly budget. The daily budget will include your food and transportation expenses. The weekly budget will include your groceries. Since you have already identified how much you are supposed to spend every day, divide your weekly budget into eight parts. Instead of having seven daily budget proposals, you do eight. The eighth part is your savings. The monthly budget, on the other hand, includes your monthly expenses like bills and other items.

The most important part of creating the budget is following it. You should strictly enforce the budget on yourself if you want to save money. After a few months, you will already have an average on how much you spend every month. Now try to decrease the monthly expense by a smidge. Do this again in a few months until your spending is down to the bare minimum. It will be difficult in the first few months but you will eventually get the hang of it. And then, when you see how much you saved by budgeting your daily expenses, you will be motivated to save more.

2. Stay off social media

People are always flashier on social media than in real life. This breeds envy. And when we are envious, we tend to act irrationally. Say you see a Facebook friend posting a photo of a new bag—and you know there are a lot them who use social media to show off. Some people might question how this particular person can afford such a fashionable item. And if he or she can afford it knowing what we know about his financial status, then we certainly can afford it. So we buy our own handbag, show it off on social media—there goes your retirement fund.

Spending just 10 minutes on social media will already give you dozens of ways to spend your money. A lot of these expenses are not even important. They are just extracurricular items in our already tight budget.

And if it’s not too much trouble, you might as well stay off television—if you can help it, that is. Television is another temptation box. There are so many adorable and great things advertised on television. It doesn’t help that companies are making it too easy for customers to buy their products. All they have to do is call a number and order and the item will be delivered right in your doorstep. Other times you will be directed to a website where you click on a few boxes and the product will be delivered to your place in just a few days.

3. Stop collecting and start selling

What do you actually do with your collections? A lot of people spend a fortune collecting items: antiques, animals (birds, reptiles, lion heads), action figures, rare comics, etc. A lot of women collect shoes and bags. These are items that you just put on display. These may give you an emotional satisfaction but these also create a big dent on your finances.

Instead, what you can do is sell some of the things you no longer need but are still useable. In the case of women who collect shoes and hand bags, a number of these will surely reach its breaking point because if you have a lot of items, chances are a lot of bags and shoes will not be used. Not using these products will have a negative effect on the materials—they disintegrate. Shoes and bags need to be used. These need to be exposed under the sun as well. So before these items fail on you, start selling them. You don’t need more than five bags and more than three pairs of shoes.

For those who collect animals, these can actually sell for a lot of money on eBay or Craigslist. So enjoy collecting money from these items. Antiques are just as expensive or maybe even more.

4. Take advantage of coupons or rewards

Be a smart and patient customer. Have you ever seen “Extreme Couponing”? Obviously, if you have a full-time job, you can’t do extreme couponing. But you can still take advantage of coupons. When you see a coupon in the magazines and newspapers, take time to cut these out. It won’t take a long time. And cut only the coupons you know you are bound to use. If you don’t have kids, you don’t need the coupon that will give you discount on diapers. A piece of coupon will not give you a big discount. But if you use a lot of coupons, then the sum becomes significant.

Also, sign up for rewards programs. There are a lot of stores that offer rewards cards that will help you save points every time you buy from the store. These points are then converted to dollars that you can use to pay for your shopping.

5. Master the 30-day Rule

Do you know the 30-day rule? Now is the time to get to know it. Say you want to buy the latest iPhone even if your current one is still working perfectly. Give yourself 30 days to decide whether you should buy it or not. One month will give you enough perspective when it comes to making big decisions. It’s enough time to think logically and rationally. If you really need something, you will still need it 30 days later. So one month is not that big a deal.

Also, while you are giving yourself 30 days to think about your purchase, try going over your budgeting notebook. Look at how you are doing with budgeting and consider how much an iPhone will destroy your fiscal management plan.

6. Quit your vice

You know smoking is bad for you. But you do it anyway. Well, if you’re not scared of cancer, think about this: Say you finish a pack of cigarette every week (the truth could be every three days but for the sake of analysis, let’s just the weekly calculation)—that’s $5.25 (at least) every week. This means that every month you spend $21 on cigarettes. That is $252 a year. Think about what you can do with that amount. You may have other vices, but consider summing up the amount you are spending on something that’s actually bad for you.

7. Stop using your credit card

Using the credit card means getting yourself into debt. Using the credit card also means you are spending money you don’t have. Live within your means and always spend within your budget. That means spending only the cash that you have—preferably much lower than the cash you actually have.

Everything is about self-control. Each of the tips in this topic allows you to practice restraint, which can take you a long way in terms of fiscal responsibility. And since you’re moving forward, you might as well look at the future. The money you save from following these tips can go to a savings account or a retirement fund. You may also invest on things that can only make you more money.

You may also use part of the money to reward yourself. After all the restraint you’ve done, you deserve a reward. And after you’ve enjoyed your reward, you think about the difference between having money and not having them—or at least not having enough. Self-control is universally a trait that is rewarding. When you put restraint on your vices, you don’t only save money, you also become healthier. If you put restraint on the use of credit cards, then you are debt-free. If you control yourself from buying stuff to add to your collection, you will have extra money.

Eventually, you will develop a habit. These seven tips will soon become part of your system. This way, doing any or all of these tips will not seem like a sacrifice but the right thing to do. This way, saving becomes second nature and the future becomes your current expenses.

Author's Bio: 

James Harnsberger is an Enrolled Agent admitted to practice before the IRS, an NTPI Fellow, a credentialed paralegal in tax law and a champion of IRS reforms.

He's also the founder and CEO of the WEALTH & TAX GURU Coaching Program, a wealth transformation personal coaching program he developed to help empower every American in their financial life.

Visit wealthandtaxguru.com for more financial planning advice