“Save money? I can’t, I have too many bills to pay!” is one of the most common responses to why most people are having a difficult time saving. Most of us think that ‘savings’ are what we have left after everything else has been paid for, but there are just so many expenses that sometimes, savings end up paying for the little things we overlooked. Why don’t you try thinking of savings in another way – as something you automatically set aside each week, or each month?
When you see things this way, you will be able to save money without worrying about how to do it. You can also set aside a portion of your savings for other investments, such as a down payment for a new house or a life insurance; make sure you shop around to compare life insurance using Compare the Market so you can see the kinds of policies that suit your particular needs. How much you should save depends on your savings goals, your monthly income, and your budget.
Set Realistic Goals
You may have short-term savings goals, such as paying for a child’s swimming lessons, or you may have a long-term goal such as a retirement plan. It is easier to attain short-term goals because the price is usually already set, while long-term goals need a little more planning. Take note of these goals when you do your budgeting.
Keep a Record
Just how much of your money goes into household expenses? If you haven’t been keeping track, now is the right time to review your spending and keep a detailed record, even the smallest of purchases. Cash in and cash out: how much do you make and how much do you spend? You can use a notebook or download an app to help you keep track. Look at your expenses with a critical eye; take note of the items you bought or paid for that were not really necessary.
With your income and expenses in mind, what can you change? What are the things you can lessen? If you are still paying for a landline phone service but rarely use it anymore (everyone’s on mobile!), consider having it cut to decrease the amount you spend on utilities. Consider going prepaid if you only use your mobile mostly for sending SMS. You may also want to check out service bundles that already include a landline, cable, and Internet service. These packages offer more value for your money and are cheaper than when you pay for services individually.
Make a List and Stick to It
Plan your weekly meals well and check the fridge first before listing down the groceries you need to buy. This way, you avoid overbuying and letting food go to waste. When you get to the supermarket, stick to your list and buy only what you need. Consider heading to the local market for fresh produce; they usually have lower prices. If you feel the temptation to buy something that’s not on your list, ask yourself: ‘Do I really need this?’ If there’s a sale, ask yourself the same thing. An item may be half-priced, but it doesn’t mean it has a place in your life. Some would think, ‘I might need it someday,’ but if you do this, think: why worry about the unforeseeable when you can save the money now? Walk away and you’ll be glad you didn’t take on the burden of bringing the unnecessary item home.
These simple solutions can help you save money, you just have to focus on why you’re saving in the first place! Picture yourself attaining your goals and you’ll realise that looking forward to a bright future beats instant gratification from impulse buys every time. The overall verdict is that saving money can be achieved by making subtle changes – for further inspiration, read this article.