The desire to save money is a common and admirable goal. It is also one that can be a bit daunting and sometimes frustrating.
There are a number of excellent reasons to save such as buying a new car or home, sending extra money to family members or buying for a special purchase such as a once-in-a-lifetime holiday. One of the important aspects of saving is to have a goal in mind. Seeing your savings approach your goal is a great motivator.
It’s actually fairly easy to begin saving – start by making small changes each day and watch the pennies add up.
- Track your spending
The first step is to start keeping a daily record of every purchase you make. Make sure you record every purchase no matter how small; there are a number of excellent free apps available that allow you to record your purchases and supply you with reports. After a couple of weeks, it is easy to spot ways you can reduce your spending.
- Set up a budget
Having a budget is a must to save money. A budget does not have to be complex. Simply list all of your fixed expenses and other expenditures. Include the amount you would like to save and discretionary spending like entertainment and clothing.
- Cut out lattes
Starting the day with a coffee or latte at the neighbourhood coffee shop is a common habit that can cost up to £1000 a year. Just cutting back to once or twice a week results in significant savings. Alternatively you can make coffee at home and take it to work in a travel mug.
- Take your lunch to work
Suppose you spend £6 a day for lunch; that adds up to about £1500 a year. Preparing your lunch at home the night before is not only less expensive but generally healthier as well.
- Pay with cash
When we use a debit or credit card it’s easy to lose track of how much we are spending. Plus paying the interest on credit card purchases can add a lot of yearly expense. Paying with cash means you can see how much money you’re using and gives you a firm budget – spend only what’s in your wallet without withdrawing more from the ATM.
- Lower your utility bills
Lowering your thermostat by only one or two degrees will reduce your energy costs, as will simple steps like turning off the lights when you leave a room or turning off devices that are not in use.
- Check your mobile plan
There’s no doubt that our mobiles are a basic necessity. However, make sure that the plan is the best for you. Often we pay for services that sound good but which we very rarely use.
- Pay yourself first
Treat your savings like any other bill. Most banks will set up automatic transfers to your savings account from each payroll deposit. Having it set up as an automatic payment eliminates the temptation to spend the money on a non-budgeted item.
- Dine out less
Having a meal out is frequently one of the top household expenses. Cut down on the number of times you dine out each week. The best tool for making this easier is to plan out your meals for the week and make a shopping list. This also saves you money by helping eliminate impulse buys at the supermarket.
- Avoid impulse buys
With everything we want available with just a click of a button, it’s easy to let impulse buys wreck our budgets. Make sure to examine whether you “need” an item rather than “want” it. Set a threshold amount for purchases. For any item above that threshold wait 48 hours before clicking the button to buy it.
The TransferGo Blog has published a number of how-to articles that help you save money including tips for useful money saving apps and saving money by making your own beer. And of course, TransferGo regularly saves customers money by offering low cost, fixed-rate money transfers.