The first step to saving money is to create a monthly budget of your personal income and personal expenses. Having a budget will stop you from overspending and making impulsive purchases. By sticking to this budget, you will be able to save extra money at the end of the month and hopefully be able to use this money for you end goal, whether that is putting a down payment on a house or taking your dream vacation.
To make a budget, first look at how much money you bring in a month. Go directly to your pay stubs. See how much money you have after taxes and other payroll deductions are taken out. If your paychecks vary from week to week, take an average of the paychecks. Always be conservative and use the lowest and most realistic number.
Next, find out exactly how much you are spending every month. For 30 days, write down everything you spend money on, down to the last penny. Some things will be constant, like your rent and car payment, and some things will change, like food costs. Once you have this for 30 days, review your expenses. Look at unnecessary things or things you can change. Try to cut out as much as you can, even if it is the smallest of things. For example, say you go to Starbucks every morning for some coffee. You spend about $3.50 a day just on coffee. In a week this amount is $17.50. In a month your coffee expense is between $80-85!!! By simply making your morning coffee at home you can save $80 a month or $960 a year!
Once you realize how much money you actualy have and how much money you actual spend you can make your personal budget. Allow yourself money for your essentials and try to save as much as you can each month. You will be thanking yourself at the end of the year when your finances are stable and you are finally able to do things that lack of money was holding you back from doing.