Saving money sounds easy, but it is easier said than done. The aim of this article is to give you some useful money saving tips that will help you get one step closer to achieving your financial goals. Each of these tips can be done right now, with minimal effort on your part. If you work through these tips and put them into practice, you will be surprised at how much money you could save within just a few weeks! So, let’s get started.
1. Watch your spending
One of the easiest ways to start saving money is to simply pay attention to where your money goes. You can do this in several ways, from literally watching yourself tap your card on the reader at the till, to checking your digital banking app every day, week or month and getting familiar with where your money is going. This tip requires little effort, as you really do not need to do anything besides watch how you spend your money. As you do this, you will gradually begin to see spending patterns that you may or may not like. At this stage, you do not need to stop or resist spending, as it is merely an educational exercise that will help you to understand why your bank balance looks the way that it does at the end of every month.
2. Cut out unnecessary spending
After you have gotten familiar with your spending habits, you may start to automatically start to ask yourself questions like, “did I really need to buy that £3 coffee?” This is good, as you are beginning to be more thoughtful about how you spend your money. We all make some relatively unnecessary purchases from time to time, but once you start to add them up it can really surprise you just how much you spend on quite trivial things. Take the coffee example here, and let’s say that you buy one £3 coffee every day before work. This means you are spending £15/week, £60/month and over £700 per year on coffee! Now, I am not suggesting you cut out the caffeine (I know I wouldn’t be able to!), but you may simply decide to make your own at home instead. Now, I won’t go into detail about the variety of solutions to this specific example, but you should start to see the benefits of this practice. Very quickly, you will be able to find similar purchases that could, if removed or reduced, save you hundreds of pounds every month.
3. Set aside some money each week
This tip builds on the previous two, and involves actually moving some of your money into a designated place, such as a savings account or even a piggy bank or money drawer. Every week, simply set aside a certain amount of money, and you can choose whether or not to attach a long- or short-term goal to these savings. An example of a savings goal could be to set aside a total of £500 over the next 6 months, or to save up for a new car. This could be £10, £50 or £200 every week or month, and you just need to make sure that it is enough that you notice you are saving it, but not too much that it causes you to struggle to pay bills etc. The important thing here is to set up a regular payment that you can then forget about, and before you know it you will be saving money without lifting a finger! The main benefit here is the passive nature of setting up regular payments. Saving money with minimal effort is, after all, the main goal here.
4. Do some research
This may sound intimidating, but this is one of the easiest ways that you can save a lot of money on the things that you already buy on a regular basis. Doing just a small amount of research into the products and services that you buy can save you huge amounts of money very quickly. For example, if you use the train every day, check to see if there are season tickets available that will allow you to save some extra money by buying in bulk. Other areas where a little research can go a long way towards a lot of savings include food and clothes shopping. You could search online before you head out to the shops to ensure that you know where to get those shoes that you want at the best price. Once again, small savings made regularly will add up in the long run. A useful bonus tip would be to take note of where you do make these savings, and add the saved money to your savings account or piggy bank to really illustrate how quickly these small savings can add up.
5. Keep track of everything
Lastly, you should keep track of everything that you are doing with regards to saving money. It can be hugely significant psychologically to have something physical in front of you that shows you everything that you have accomplished so far. This could be as simple as writing down in a diary how much money you saved last week or month by, for example, having coffee before work rather than buying it on the way there. Then, as you keep adding to this regularly, you will start to see the list of savings grow, which will encourage you to save even more. This can result in a snowball-like effect, causing you to save more and more each week, simply by forming some easy but powerful money-saving habits.
“The art is not in making money, but in keeping it”
So, if you made it this far you should be well on your way to saving a lot of money with minimal effort. Congratulations! It really is as simple as just taking a little bit of time to analyse what you are spending, reducing the number of unnecessary purchases and putting a small amount of money aside on a regular basis. So, keep going, and hopefully soon you will be able to achieve all of your financial goals!