Feature photo cred goes to alamosbasement from Flickr.
Saving money is a huge part of managing your money well, and there’s no denying that having some savings in the bank leads to better financial security. Good saving habits will help you reach your financial goals – whether you are saving for a new house, a car, a dream holiday, your children’s college funds, or early retirement.
But, saving money does not always come easy. Those who are left with little or no disposable income to spare each month will understandably find it more difficult to save than those who have a larger amount of funds left over.
Even if you’re living on a low income, these simple financial hacks will help you spend less and save more.
1. Save First:
Whenever you receive your regular pay-check, paying into your savings account as a priority is an effective method of expanding the total amount that you save. Rather than waiting until the end of each month and hoping that you have some money left to put away, work out how much you can comfortably afford to save and transfer it immediately.
Paying yourself first is one of the best savings habits to develop, since you will not be as tempted to spend your money if it’s out of sight. Do this by setting up an automatic payment to your savings account each payday; after a while you’ll forget you’re even saving. Remember that it doesn’t matter how little you save, as long as you try and save something.
2. Write Shopping Lists:
Who isn’t guilty of making a trip to the grocery store with no list? Maybe you write a list of items that you need for your main grocery shop, but don’t bother when you visit to top up your supply in between visits. Or, like many people today, perhaps you don’t write a shopping list at all and instead hope your memory doesn’t let you down.
If you’ve ever found yourself throwing all sorts of things that you don’t really need into your basket because you’ve seen them in the store or they’re on special offer, you’ll know just how easy it can be to overspend when grocery shopping. A list will help you to focus on the items that you need; you’ll avoid purchasing anything unnecessary.
3. Leave Your Wallet Behind:
It might shock you when you discover just how much money you can save with this simple trick. And, all you need to do is leave your wallet or purse behind when you go to work. During the working day, your expenditure can quickly add up, especially if you go out for lunch with your colleagues or consume numerous coffees from Starbucks throughout the day.
Save money by making your own food to take into work; this can be substantially cheaper. Put it this way – even if you only spend $5 per day on food and drinks at work, you can save $25 per week by taking your own – that’s $1,300 in a year!
4. Walk More:
We’re all guilty of grabbing our car keys and hopping behind the wheel for a short journey that probably wouldn’t have taken much longer to walk. Unless you’re carrying heavy cargo and walking isn’t practical, going on foot whenever you can will reduce the total amount that you spend on gas. Additionally, by driving less miles in a year, you could see a reduction in your auto insurance premiums since your car will be doing less milage.
It’s not all about saving money, though – you can enjoy further benefits of walking more often; physical activity is good for both your physical and mental health. Driving less and walking more also helps to reduce road pollution and shrink your carbon footprint.
5. Shop Around:
When it comes to financial products, it’s important to understand that the market is subject to a lot of change. So, although your current financial products may have been the best deals available when you first signed up for them, this could be completely different a few months on.
Successful money savers dedicate some of their spare time to trawling financial comparison sites, searching for any cheaper or better-value products that suit their financial needs. You can find a lot of valuable information to help you choose at reputable financial review websites, blogs and forums.
Would you like to add a top money saving habit of your own to this list? Leave a comment below!