So, you want to save some money for your budget! Who wouldn’t want to have a little bit set aside to have some fun? However, you might also want to save money for other more challenging experiences in life – so you are ready should something catch you by surprise – like a global pandemic, for instance.
Here are twenty of the best ways to save money.
- Set a budget
When looking to save up for anything, you need to budget for how much you are allowed to spend each month and then stick to it. There is a 50/20/30 rule to create your budget. Half your money should go to essentials, 20% should go to your savings and 30% should be kept for living your fun life.
- Send money to your savings automatically
Set up a money transfer so that your savings get sent to the right account automatically. It takes a lot of willpower to keep sending amounts across to your savings. That automatic transfer will help you forget that the money is moving across and you find yourself with a tidy sum before you remember.
- Keep an emergency fund
You need at least 6 months of living expenses set aside in case something emergent happens. If you lose your job or experience a medical problem, you will need this money to see you through this time.
- Track what you spend
While we don’t suggest you go so far as making a spreadsheet for your expenses, we suggest every now and then checking out your bank account and seeing where your money is going. For instance, if you stop for a coffee every day on your way to work, you could easily spend £20 a week on those drinks, which is £80 a month, which is £960 a year. Yep. Feeling shocked?
- Pay off debt quickly
While we would say avoid debt at all costs, we also accept that sometimes putting something on your card is convenient and offers some backup. However, you should seek to pay off these debts quickly to avoid interest building up.
- 30-day cooldown
When you want to make a luxurious purchase, you need to be sure you cannot live without it. First, you need to wait 30 days to cool down from your initial impulse. If after these 30 days you still feel you need it and want it – then click buy.
- Set a goal
For some of us, we are reaching a time when we have to consider retirement. We need to seriously think about how much we want to live on when we no longer work. This will help you set a goal for how much we will need to save.
- Invest in better quality
Buying cheap doesn’t always save money. Something simple like a t-shirt. A £2 t-shirt might last one wash and is essentially disposable. Spend £20 on a t-shirt and you will be getting it out for the summer year after year.
- Maintain your assets
Your home and car are assets. Therefore, you should invest in regular protection to keep the value in this asset.
- Investigate accounts
Where you keep your savings can make a massive difference to the speed with which your savings grow. Speak with a financial advisor to consider where your money is best placed. There will be a balance between risk and reward and issues of accessibility to the funds that you need advice on from a specialist.
- Learn to shave off small amounts from the necessities
Make small changes that will grow together to be a big amount. Use your bike when you might want to use the car, keep the heating off for an extra few weeks, buy the deals in the supermarket rather than the best ranges. These small savings will accrue quickly to be significant amounts.
- Use a change app
There are apps out there that round up all your card purchases to the nearest pound. The change is moved to an account where it adds up with every purchase. You will be surprised how quickly this will add up. Some of these apps then allow you to transfer this to your bank account, make purchases with it or invest it.
- Make major purchases during the sales
If you want to be at the head of the queue for the latest trend, then you are going to be paying the highest prices. However, if you wait until the sales you will save a significant amount.
- Cancel your gym membership
Walk, run around the local park, cycle into town – doing anything to exercise rather than visiting the gym. How many of you have a membership and don’t use it? This can save you a lot of money.
- Check out the vouchers
Supermarkets have loyalty schemes and products print coupons in newspapers. There are also coupon sites online. Collect these together and bank the savings.
- Plan your weekly food
Rather than buying on instinct and desire, plan a week’s worth of meals and then buy the food needed for these meals. Avoid the snack and alcohol aisle and keep that supermarket bill down.
- Inflate your car’s tyres
You would be surprised how much more petrol you use when your tyres are under-inflated – and you will need new tyres quicker too.
- Buy used
Finally, though by no means exhaustively, there are a lot of products that are perfectly good second hand. You will be surprised at the quality of goods at your local charity shop.