Top 9 Saving Tips
We could all do with extra disposable income or a safety net to fall back on, however for most of us getting a pay rise is not something that happens over night. What you can kick-start over night is a savings strategy.
Here are 9 top tips to help you budget and save your money, so you can have more security and more fun.
1. Focus On Long-term Goals
One step is to make long-term goals, the other is to stick with them. These should also be prioritized. For example if you want to save for your retirement, you should set the required cash aside each month for this first, and then begin to think about this year's vacation or other shorter term goals.
2. Budget With Your Partner
Data suggests that finances are one of the key reasons couples and marriages fall apart. It is therefore important to get both partners on the same page when it comes to budgeting and saving. Do it together, allow room for each other's suggestions, and then stick to it.
3. Wait It Out
Although you can take action over night, you aren't magically going to become rich. It takes time to build up a nest egg, so don't be discouraged in the first few months. It all adds up over time.
4. Don't Rely On Overdrafts
If you have an overdraft or in fact any debt, you are essentially nullifying your initial savings. While it's possible to save while having debt, the most logical solution is to pay off the debts first and then focus on savings. If you are regularly relying on an overdraft you will need to budget your way out of it before even considering saving.
5. Separate Your Savings
Believe it or not, the place where your savings are located can have a huge impact on your saving psychology. If you keep your savings in your checking account with money constantly going in and out, you don't have that rewarding visual of X amount sitting there. That's one reason why you should put them in a separate account - especially a savings account as you will get higher interest.
Keeping them separate is also a good way to manage your income and expenses, without having to keep calculating the amount of savings that should be there.
6. Set Aside "Fun" Money
As well as saving for your long-term goals, part of your budget should also include "fun money." This is money on top of your regular leisure and entertainment costs, that you can turn to if you get that unexpected invitation or you spot something you simply have to buy.
7. Have Emergency Savings
Similarly you should also allocate savings to an emergency fund that is separate from your core savings if possible. This will allow you to fund that emergency travel or get the car fixed, without having to dip in to any of your other jars. Once this reaches a fair amount, you can stop adding to it.
8. Resist Impulse Buys
While it's ok to use your "fun money" for impulse buys, you don't want to get in to the habit of buying everything you see online or on the shopping channels. If this is part of you personality, a cool little trick is to apply a 3 day rule. What this means is when you see something you want, wait 3 days and then ask yourself again whether you really want it.
Most of the time after "sleeping on it" you'll realize that the purchase was not really that important after all.
9. Leave the Card At Home
Likewise leaving the credit card at home when you go on a night out or to do the groceries is a great way of not overspending. Budget how much cash you really need and then only take cash with you. While you might get frustrated in the beginning, you'll get used to it and your savings will begin to mount.
If you're disciplined you can obviously use your card within the budget.
Maintaining a good credit rating requires you to use cards. Just be wise about it. If $200 is your grocery limit then only spend $200 on the card.