Money is a source of great stress for many people, and for good reason; you cannot survive without it. Most people could do with having a little extra cash to hand but cutting costs and saving money can be tricky. A lot of people think that the amount of money that they can save is entirely dependent on their salary, and of course, this does play an important role, but there are some tips that can help you save money whatever your earnings, keep reading to learn more.
Revise Your Monthly Budget
This is definitely the best place to start when you are looking for a way to save more money. Think about your monthly outgoings and try to look for ways to trim the fat. For example, do you have any subscriptions which you could cancel to save some money? Or have you considered swapping from an expensive monthly phone contract to a SIM-Only or pay-as-you-go plan like the ones provided by Lebara using their SIM-Only Network?
As a general rule, you should divide your budget into three, the necessities, the luxuries and your savings. The luxuries are where you will be able to save the most money. Most of your budget – around 50% – should go on the necessities, like your housing, utilities and food. Then a smaller chunk, around 30%, goes on luxuries; these are the things that you could live without, like your social life or your subscriptions.
Finally, the last 20% goes straight into your savings. This method of budgeting will not necessarily work for everyone, especially if their necessities account for more than 50% of their wages.
Curb Your Impulse Spending
Impulse purchases are incredibly common; this could be down to the fact that buying things releases serotonin in the brain, making us happy to spend money. In that respect, impulse spending can become a coping mechanism for some people.
However, it is not conducive to saving money. Impulse purchases are completely unnecessary most of the time; they aren’t something that you need. Instead, you need to start putting more thought into your purchases, no matter how small.
A great way to help fight impulse buying is to meal plan and then stick to the list you made with your meal plan.
Set Up a Standing Order for Your Savings
Most people are paid regularly, whether weekly or monthly, you should have an idea of when your money is coming in. you should use this knowledge to set up a standing order to automatically transfer a portion of your wages into your saving each month. This should act as the minimum, whether that is a percentage like ten percent of your wages or a monetary amount.
Then, if you have any money left before your next payday, you can manually top up your savings with it. By setting up a standing order to come out of your account automatically, you don’t have to factor this into your budget, and your savings can grow pretty quickly.
Always Look for the Best Deal
Before you commit to a bill, you should always shop around to ensure that you have the best deal and you aren’t paying over the odds. This goes for your household utilities or any contract you enter into, like your phone contract or your car or home insurance.
The market fluctuates, and companies are constantly trying to undercut each other in order to grow their market share; take advantage of this. Use price comparison sites to compare deals. If you want to stay with your current provider, but you’ve found a better deal, then reach out to them and give them the opportunity to match or better it, to keep you as a customer, they will often make an effort to accommodate you.
This way of thinking extends to other purchases, too. Before you make a big purchase, you should again always check a few stores or brands to ensure that you are getting the best deal. You can also find vouchers, coupons or discount codes online. They are an often-underrated way to save money, but they can be incredibly effective.
In addition, a lot of brands have loyalty schemes or promo codes that you can take advantage of. For example, since its revamp, the Tesco Clubcard yields some great deals for shoppers both in-store and online; you can also find discount codes through the influencers that you follow or by signing up to mailing lists.
Build Your Emergency Fund
Unexpected expenses arise; they cannot be afforded, and sometimes these expenses can mean that your savings take a hit. This is why it is worth trying to build up an emergency fund to help you to deal with them. Most people tend to aim for an emergency fund that consists of between three- and six months worth of living expenses.
This means that you should be easily able to deal with any expenses that arise, and you have a good nest egg should you find yourself unable to work for any reason too.
Try the 30-Day Method
This is a great method that you can use to curb your spending habits and thus save more money. For example, if you want to buy something, whether it is a big purchase for the house like a washing machine or a smaller personal purchase like a new handbag, you should put the purchase off for a month.
Then, if after the 30 days are up, you still want the item, then go for it and make the purchase. Most of the time, you will have forgotten about it or moved on; this shows you that you don’t need it and you don’t have to spend your money on it.
Saving money isn’t something that can really happen overnight. Instead, it is about cultivating better habits that allow you to make sustained lifestyle changes. These habits then allow you to change your mindset regarding money leading to better financial choices. If you want to improve your financial competency and save money, then try some of the techniques listed above. Start by thinking about your monthly expenditures and any areas that you can cut back on. Then, build yourself an emergency fund, and remember to shop around for the best deal.