Indispensable living costs. With them I mean monthly rent (in my case mortgage), maintenance charges of my apartment, electricity, water, incurances, gas for my car, food, housekeeping facilities etc. I make sure they all are the best for me and also that they cost as little as possible. For example, by comparing insurance companies on a regular basis I have saved hundreds of euros per year! It is up to me how much I use my car, so sometimes I use my bike to get to grocery store. Quality of food is something I usually don´t want to bargain for, but if I want to save some extra euros I may skip restaurant lunches at work and eat bag lunches.
No impulse shopping. After paying the bills, my current income fortunately allows me to do some feel-good shopping as well. Sometimes I certainly am capable of spending money for clothes and accessories, but I still do that in a controlled matter. If I know I have to save money for a trip, I will not buy anything I really don´t need. If I know I will be traveling to a place with huge shopping malls, I simply save my shopping cravings till there.
Several bank accounts. I have actually three accounts. One is for daily use and to other accounts I transfer my savings on a monthly basis. In addition, I have acquired a small fund unit to which I transfer 50 euros per month. So far it has been profitable, but the aim is to keep it as a long-term investment so I don´t plan to use that for traveling.
Goals. If I want to save money in a certain time, I simply make a goal and act accordingly. If I want to save 600 euros in six months, I know I need to spend 100 euros less per month. If I want to save the same amount in two months, it will require more effort. So far I have been able to stick to all my saving plans without downgrading my quality of life. The key is to be reasonable and set realistic goals.
I think the most crucial thing to save money is to be truly honest to yourself. Do I need to buy several designer clothes for myself/son/dog/niece? Do I need to get my nails done or could I do that myself? Could I use cheaper cosmetics instead of Dior? Do I need to get a new dress for every party I go to? If you live from paycheck to paycheck without anything left to save and are not willing to downgrade any of your not-so-necessary expenses, that is your choice. I have heard comments like "it´s useless to save 50 euros per month" or "100 euros buys basically nothing". I don´t think 600 or 1200 euros are that useless after a year... it´s only a matter of persistance and further outlook.