Saving money can be really hard at the best of times, but more and more of us are now searching for ways that we can increase our savings accounts and reduce our spending. It’s easier said than done, but with our four favourite tips, you’ll see your savings soar in no time at all!
Outline a budget
Put aside some time to develop an outline of your households’ income and typical outgoings. A spreadsheet is a really good way to organise these finances, as it lets you clearly see each section and exactly what you’re spending on what; with this, you’ll quickly see several ways that you can cut back and start to save.
Start with adding in your essential outgoings, which will typically include your rent or your mortgage, council tax bills, any insurance that you have, costs that you can’t change and will have to pay. You can log these into your spreadsheet and then assess what you’ve got leftover for the month to cover any other bills, like food costs and any other payments that you may make. There are lots of things that you can do to reduce these costs that you might not have considered previously– look at changing utility providers so you can lower your monthly payment, or start meal prepping and planning in advance to reduce your weekly spend on food that ends up getting wasted.
For anyone unsure of where to start, a good approach is to just log everything that you spend for around a month; often, people don’t actually realise what they’re spending their money on, or just how much they’re spending, but once you can see where your money is going, you can look at how to reduce the unnecessary costs, especially if you find that you’re making multiple impulse buys.
Cancel your unnecessary subscriptions
Most of us are signed up to a few different subscriptions, so whether you use services such as Netflix, Hulu, Hayu, or another form of paid streaming service, you can look at how you can reduce these costs. Some families choose to share profiles that reduce the cost, or you may decide to switch to a cheaper subscription option instead. While this saving might not be a lot at first, it will add up over time and make a difference!
Remember that some of these subscriptions are still saving you money, though, especially if you’re using something like Amazon Prime to regularly order things. Make sure that you don’t just immediately cancel your subscriptions and that you confirm doing so will save you money – especially if you use free, next-day delivery for essentials. Instead, you might reassess what you’re ordering and decide if you really need these things or if you could save some money by reducing the amount that you’re buying instead.
Keep an eye out for the bargains
Often, everyday purchases are just inevitable, but you can almost always look into finding clever ways to reduce the amount by buying your things when they’re on offer. There are several times throughout the year where big sales launch, especially around the Christmas period, in Easter during the Spring and, arguably the biggest, Black Friday and Cyber Monday at the start of November. If you know that you’re going to need to make a big purchase at some point, maybe some new items of furniture or some white goods that tend to be quite expensive, shopping during these sale times can save you a good amount of money.
Sometimes, you just can’t pick when you have to buy these things, especially if something has broken down on you unexpectedly and needs dealing with straight away. If this happens to you and you’re struggling to find a good sale online anywhere to take advantage of, you can look at sites that will search for any online discount codes, Honey being one of the most popular ones. This is an incredibly helpful browser add-on that you can download and use on your computer, which will automatically scan the net for any discount codes that you can use, helping you save your money with absolutely no effort at all!
Save up your change
There are banking apps that will automatically do this for you, especially with most places now going cashless. These apps will round up anything you spend to the nearest dollar and then automatically move the change into your savings account. At first, you’ll only see maybe 30 cents or so with each transaction that you make; but when you’re picking bits and bobs up every day, this will quickly add up.
You can also round the amount that saves higher up yourself, too, so for example, if you chose to round to $10, and you then spent $6, the remaining $4 will go straight into your savings account. If you’re looking to save more money in a faster time frame, this is a great option, but ensure that you’re not being overly restrictive as in the long term, this won’t be a sustainable method for you.
The secret to saving your money smartly is to find out the ways that work for you. If you start to lose motivation, try and focus on whatever you’re saving for; these tips from will help to encourage you and keep your savings growing!