You never know what’s round the corner – a broken boiler, a costly wedding or even unemployment – so making your money do more for you is vital to ensure you’re able to cope with the unexpected.
This is why learning to save like a pro is essential for getting on top of your finances, regardless of whether you’re paying off outstanding debt or you simply want to put some money aside as holiday finance. Lucky for you, in today’s post, we’re going to be giving you the lowdown on saving with 9 straightforward tips that will guarantee you bank more money each month.
Get to grips with your outgoings
Before you start cutting back on everyday essentials and living solely on baked beans, first you need to get a clear understanding of your spending habits and monthly outgoings.
Naturally, there are unavoidable expenditures such as rent, mortgages, council tax and utilities that have to be paid each month, but you may be surprised at all the other things you buy without a second thought
As the first step to becoming a pro saver, identify your spending habits (both good and bad) and calculate how much you spend each month versus how much you earn. This will give a clearer picture of your disposable income after you’ve paid for the essentials – and highlight areas where you can make cutbacks.
Banish bad spending habits
Living in an age where you can buy almost anything online or simply swipe your card at the checkout rather than grappling with physical money, it’s easy to lose track of where your money goes. But, if you’re serious about saving, you need to monitor your spending closely.
For instance, you may think nothing of splurging £5 on lunch and coffees every day or buying a t-shirt in the sale every weekend, but cumulatively these are significant drains on your finances.
Taking a good look at where and when you spend will allow you to identify your regular spending habits. For instance, you may think nothing of splurging £5 on lunch and coffees every day or buying a t-shirt in the sale every weekend, but cumulatively these are significant drains on your finances.
Think of ways you can negate these impulsive spends, such as taking a packed-lunch to work or avoiding the temptation of shopping by taking up a new hobby, and you’ll quickly notice that fewer small transactions can add up to significant savings over a longer period.
Make a shopping list
Curbing your grocery shop can be a great way to claw back money each month, but this doesn’t have to mean you opt for value food over your firm favourites. It’s more about being aware of what you’re buying and how much it costs. The easiest way to do this is to make a shopping list of essentials before you hit the supermarket and stick to it.
Knowing exactly what you need and ensuring you keep to the list will remove impulse buying and unplanned purchases that bump up your grocery bill. It can also help you plan meals more effectively, ensuring you eat what you have and don’t waste food.
Switch your bank accounts & credit cards
As creatures of habit, many of us will stick with the same bank account for years, sometimes for ease or the misconception that loyalty gets us a better deal.
This can be the case in some circumstances, but to rack up savings quicker it’s a good idea to explore other options for your finances. You may find that opening a new account with a different bank gives you much better interest rates – plus, many banks provide introductory offers for new customers, which is always a welcome bonus.
Review your energy, telecoms and TV suppliers
On a similar note, it’s also beneficial to review your current energy suppliers, as well as any subscriptions you have for phone, television and internet services. As with your bank accounts, shopping around and comparing your current deal with other providers will make sure you find the most cost-effective rates and that you aren’t overpaying each month.
Consolidate outstanding debt
Becoming a pro saver can be made harder if you’re also having to pay off outstanding balances on a number of credit cards, loans and store cards. One solution could be to take out a debt consolidation loan to pay off your debt by combining it and splitting it into lower, more manageable monthly repayments.
That being said, debt consolidation isn’t a quick-fix solution and the amount you can borrow, repayment terms and interest rates will vary depending on personal finances and your credit score. So, you need to be confident you’re getting the best possible deal to ensure it solves the problem rather than making it worse.
Sell your unused possessions
Another great way to save for a wedding, holiday or rainy day fund is to consider selling some of your unwanted or unused possessions. What you may no longer have a need for could well be worth money to someone else, so decluttering and selling off your unused items could be both a lucrative and relatively easy way to make money.
Whether you advertise in the local paper or on free listing websites like Gumtree or Preloved is up to you, but we’d recommend working on the rule that, if you haven’t used it for at least a year, and don’t have any real plans to in the near future, it might be time to sell it on.
Set yourself a savings goal
Regardless of what you’re saving for, it’s also a good idea to set yourself a savings goal. While a huge target can seem like a great thing to aim for in the beginning, it can be disheartening if your saving strategies start off slow. We’d recommend having an overall savings goal with additional smaller targets along the way – as this will not only help to keep you motivated to continue saving, but also give you a good way to track your progress.
Regularly review your finances
Finally, always take the time to regularly review your finances as this will ensure you’re fully on top of what you’re spending and where you’re saving. It can also prevent old spending habits from creeping back in, too.
Getting a firm handle on your finances is definitely an excellent way to make your saving more effective and impactful and we hope with these tips you’ll be well on your way to reaching your goals for wedding financing, luxury holidays or just putting yourself in a better financial position for the future.
If you are still struggling to bridge the gap with savings alone, there are other finance options available including personal wedding loans, holiday loans and homeowner loans – and our blog is packed full of useful articles and advice to help you come to a decision on the best option for you.