Saving is one of those things that many people put off and say ‘I’ll start Monday’ when weekend plans cause an unexpected expense or you get a mid-week offer to ‘treat yourself’ buying food out when you know you have full cupboards at home. No matter the excuse, saving is important and should be more of a priority, it will also always be worth it in the end and you will be pleased you finally got your finances in order. Young people especially are less likely to save as retirement seems a lifetime away and they may see friends living beyond their means and feel like they should do the same to not be seen as ‘boring.’ It is always important to save however and with that in mind, here are some of the easiest ways to save more money.
Learn to budget
It can be tempting to reach payday and spend the extra you have once bills are accounted for on things you don’t need. This is an easy way to lose track of how much you are spending and if you really feel the pinch by the end of each month then you need to take control of the situation. Take time to draw up a budget, work out how much you need for essentials like bills and food and then see how much money you have left over. You can cut a personal allowance out of that if you feel you can afford it, but remember when that money is gone it’s gone. Put whatever is left into savings. Ideally you want to save 10% or more of the ‘spare’ money you have. You can download a free monthly budget template here. All you need to use it is microsoft Excel.
How you shop makes a big difference to how much you save. You can cut costs buying own brand food, beauty products, medicines or other essentials rather than paying for big-name brands. Often the products are just as good and you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference if you removed the labels. Be on the lookout for discount codes if you need to order something online and sign up for reward cards if you can, you will often receive special offers or earn points you can spend at a later date.
Try to resist temptation
It can be easy to buy a coffee on the way to work without really thinking about it, but if you take a look at how much you spend a month on treats you don’t need whether that is coffee, an afternoon pick-me-up snack you could do without or even an extra drink while out with friends, you’ll be surprised how much it can total. Try to have set treat days such a Wednesday when you need a mid-week boost or a Friday night to enjoy the end of the week. If you need some extra support to help you resist check out this list of 40 massive money saving tips.
Stop savings being boring
It’s easy to see savings as a chore which means you’ll be likely to put it off or forget about it. Instead make a game or challenge out of it. See if you, a friend or your partner can save more than the other each week or mark a container as a ‘dream holiday pot’ or ‘spending spree jar.’ Add any spare change you have each day or have a set date to add money to it, it will grow faster than you expect.