Tips On How To Save Money
Feeling the pinch? Getting to the middle of the month and your purse is feeling a bit light. We’ve all been there at some point. There are lots you can do to make your money go a bit further, so I’ve put together my tips on how to save money.
Look At What You Are Spending
Take a look at what you are currently spending. Record down everything you spend in an average month. Start with all the big things like your mortgage/rent and bills and then add in all the other bits you spend.
If you find there’s a gap between what you think you spend and what you actually spend, it might be that you are spending without really realising. Grabbing a coffee a couple of times a week? Shopping online where you only have to press the buy button. Picking up a takeaway on the way home. You may need to look through your statement or online account to figure out what’s missing in your log. Once you’ve got everything down, you can start looking at what’s essential and what’s nice to have.
I find recording my spending down on a spreadsheet helps. You can categorise things into needs and wants. You can also look at what you are spending on clothes, going out and expensive food like takeaways.
Make A Budget
Once you know what you are spending on. Make a second record. This is the most important suggestion in my tips on how to save money. If you don’t have a plan of where you are going to spend your money (and in turn save it) then you won’t know where you may be going wrong.
Write down the items you must spend money on including things like petrol, childcare, food and then what’s left is yours to decide what you do with it.
If you have £300 after all your essential spending, why not plan to put £100 into savings and then leave yourself the rest for your non-essential spending. That way if you plan ahead, you can put the £100 away and still leave yourself plenty to live on for the rest of the month.
Cut Down Your Spending
Once you’ve made a list of everywhere you spend money, it’s time to work through your list and work out if you can reduce the spending. Are there subscriptions you don’t use that often? Perhaps you can talk to one of your providers and negotiate a cheaper bill or even switch to an alternative provider. There are nearly always savings to be made by switching utility providers or phoning your TV and broadband supplier for a better deal.
Treat your takeaway as literally a treat. Rather than relying on it for an easy dinner, use it as a once a month treat and stock up on easy to cook dinner ingredients like stir-fry and pasta.
If you like going out for dinner, choose restaurants that are offering deals like 2-for-1 or that are a bit cheaper than you would normally dine at. Restaurant portions are generally larger than those you would cook at home, so why not cut out the starter and save yourself the pennies.
Once you’ve set your budget for the month. Set up a way that the money will go straight into your savings right after payday. That way you can’t be tempted to spend it. A direct debit into an ISA is a great start. Be realistic about how much you can save, otherwise, you might find yourself regularly dipping into your savings to top up your current account during the month. It’s better to save a little regularly and then to add any underspend at the end of the month. Do you think you can do that? How are you going with my tips on how to save money?
Think Twice Before Purchasing
When you go out shopping for non-essential items, have a plan of what you are going to buy. If you know you need some new clothes, think about what you might want to buy. A couple of skirts and a cardigan, brilliant. Try and steer yourself away from the dresses you don’t need then. No harm in looking but if you do see something you want to buy, think twice. Will I wear this? Will I enjoy this item? Do I really need this item? If you can think it through, you might find you can put it back on the hanger and walk away. There will always be other dresses. If your goal is to get yourself a savings pot, buying the dress you don’t need won’t help that pot grow.
I hope this post full of tips on how to save money helps you reach your savings goal.
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