We all work hard to earn the money we need but sometimes it can be hard to make ends meet or save for that special treat or vacation. With the Covid-19 Pandemic affecting so many people’s jobs and businesses over the last 18 months, more and more of us have found ourselves financially stretched. Saving money takes careful planning, budgeting and staying full awareness of how much money you earn and exactly where it goes. It is amazing how much more money you can set aside each month when you start to become more conscious of your incomings and outgoings and make just a few small changes to your spending habits.
To help everyone save more money, here are our simple but effective financial tips and tricks.
1. Create an Itemized Budget
There are so many people whose income doesn’t cover their costs or who end up in debt because they don’t follow a comprehensive budget. While there are times when making ends meet seems difficult, a lot of us make enough money to pay for everything and save money if we managed our money better. A well-planned, itemized spending budget will help you to keep an eye on all your expenditures and ensure that you don’t waste any of your money. To make your budget, just record all of your outgoings each month and check that you can afford your lifestyle on your current income. Once everything is written down, you may be able to notice areas of spending where you can save money such as eating out or driving a car when you could use public transport. Learn how to create your first budget with my Personal Budget resources.
2. Take Advantage of Voucher Deals
There are some fantastic voucher deals which can help you make massive savings on a whole range of items if you know where to look. They offer major discounts at various stores both offline and on the internet. You can find various vouchers online and these ones at www.swagbucks.com/shop/kohls-coupons can provide up to 60% at Kohl’s department store. Some department stores can be expensive so finding applicable vouchers is always a good idea. Shopping with vouchers at a department store is a great way to save money and time because you can pick up everything you need in one place at one time without having to travel to different stores and spend money on transportation.
3. Pay Money You Owe as Soon as Possible
Chronic debt is a problem which more and more people have these days because so many of us live beyond our means. If you have any outstanding debt, the best thing to do is to pay it off as quickly as possible so that you don’t keep accruing interest on the balance. Many loans have eye-watering interest rates and so once someone gets into debt, it can be very hard to get out of it as all their money just goes on monthly interest payments. There are potential solutions if you are in serious debt and they vary from country to country. In the UK, for example, an Individual Voluntary Arrangement enables you to agree on a monthly repayment scheme with whoever you owe the debt to. Paying off your debts as quickly as possible will mean all that money you usually spend on interest and loan payments can instead be saved.
4. Don’t Overspend on Credit Cards
Credit cards are one of the main culprits for why many people find themselves in debt they can’t pay off. A lot of people who are looking to save will buy things on their credit cards so that they are able to save some of their cash each month. This is a false economy because you will only be putting off payment until later so will end up just having to use the money you’ve saved to pay off your credit card later on (and usually with some major interest added on). You should never buy anything on your credit card which you aren’t able to pay off within three to six months depending on the size of the item. Having a credit card does not mean you have a blank cheque and you should always be careful not to overspend.
5. Always Have an Emergency Kitty
An emergency purchase or bill can eat up all your savings in one swift go so it is crucial that you always have an emergency kitty set aside for unseen expenditures. These might be automobile repairs or a broken HVAC system, but if you don’t have the money to pay for them then you can put yourself in debt because you will need to get an emergency loan with super high-interest rates. The best way to build up your emergency kitty is to put 10% of your monthly income into a separate bank account. Learn more about “Emergency Kitty” (or sinking funds) in my personal budget article.
6. Make Small Changes to Your Daily Habits
It is amazing how much money you can save by just making a few small changes to your daily habits. If you live near to your workplace, for example, you could walk or ride a bike rather than driving or paying for public transport. A lot of people eat out or buy their lunch on workdays but preparing your own lunch at home can save you a lot of money over the course of a month. Many people spend as much as $10 a day on their lunch for work but the same food could be prepared at home for just three or four dollars. Learn more with my post on 101 ways to save money.
7. Follow a Minimalist Lifestyle
Everyone has things around their home which they never use or don’t really need and minimizing your life can save you a lot of money. Every few months, take a hard look at everything you own and think about how often you actually use it. You can sell your unwanted items online and put that money towards saving for a vacation or a new car.
Saving enough money can often seem like a losing battle but with some careful thought and some small habitual changes you will be amazed at how much money you can have left over at the end of each month. You need to start with a comprehensive itemized budget so that you can track every penny and identify any areas of wastage. Follow these seven easy tips and you will be well set for a bright financial future.