Want to know the secret to savvier spending?
A lot of people struggle with budgeting and saving money because they expect to be able to reach huge goals within just a few weeks of saving. When you want to have enough cash to go on holiday with your family by next year, it can be a little disheartening to see that you’re only saving a couple of pounds by giving up your daily coffee or switching to a different brand of butter.
However, the truth is that big savings come from small, everyday changes in your habits. Though small savings might not seem like much at first, they quickly add up over time. Here are just a few practical ways to start saving more each day.
1. Quit Impulse Shopping
Impulse shopping is the bane of the frugal spender. If you want to make sure that you’re getting the most out of your cash, you can’t allow yourself to keep falling victim to temptation. Unfortunately, when it’s all too easy to add something extra to your shopping cart and pay for it with your credit card, it’s hard to tell yourself “no.” A good way to eliminate impulse shopping is to focus on only spending cash.
Withdraw the exact amount of money you need for a shopping trip, then leave your credit and debit cards at home. If you decide you absolutely have to have something, you’ll need to go back home for your card, which gives you more time to think things through.
2. Try Something Cheaper
If you decide you need something and after 72 hours of thinking it over, you still want to make the purchase, consider looking for a slightly cheaper substitute elsewhere. There’s a good chance that you’ll be able to find a better solution for your needs by simply spending ten minutes searching online. Getting a cheaper price might be as simple as choosing a different brand or using a voucher code.
Improving your spending habits doesn’t have to mean giving up everything you enjoy. Sometimes, it’s simply about finding a substitute that helps you to keep costs as low as possible, while ensuring you still get what you want.
3. Drive Less
Having your own car is incredibly convenient. With a car, you can get wherever you need to go as quickly as you like, without having to worry about things like public transportation timetables. Unfortunately, vehicles are also incredibly expensive. To cut the costs of owning your car down to a minimum, make sure that you only drive somewhere when you need to.
In other words, if you can easily walk to the store closest to your home, do that instead of revving up the motor. Another great idea is to ask people at work to contribute to a carpool, that way you can all spend a little less on petrol each month.
4. Compare the Prices of Loans
Sometimes, no matter how careful you are with your spending, you’ll still need a little extra help to purchase something important. Whether you need a personal loan to pay for an update to your home, or you need a car loan for a new vehicle, make sure that you’re getting the deal that’s right for you.
Just like you can compare your energy expenses and other costs online today, you can also compare the costs of loans. Go on a comparison website such as Readies.co.uk and look for a solution with the lowest APR. Remember to look at like-for-like quotes to make sure that you’re getting the same terms with each loan option.
5. Avoid Your Triggers
Have you ever noticed that there are some things you have a harder time saying no to than others? For some people, it might be practically impossible to ignore a clothing sale. For others, the biggest threat might be the temptation to order a pizza when you’re too tired to cook.
Find out what your triggers are and look for ways to avoid them. For instance, if you’re continually ordering food instead of making it for yourself, try pre-preparing your meals and putting them in the freezer, so all you need to do is warm up the food you want to eat later. This will not only reduce your risk of over-spending on eating out, but it could also mean that you start eating a lot healthier too. To improve your chances of success, make sure you look for recipes you can really look forward to eating.
Now over to you…
Do you have any other money saving tips that you personally try – and succeed? Please share with us!