In a world where it’s incredibly easy to spend money at the click of a button, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to save cash for the things that we want and need. If, like many people today, you have a small income, but big dreams of what you’d like to accomplish in the future, then you need to establish a saving strategy that will help you to reach your targets.
Often, people assume that the only way that they can realistically save money is by making a vast changes to their lifestyle, like giving up driving, or moving to a smaller home. However, the truth is that you can make minor adjustments every day that add up to considerable savings in the long term. Here are some ideas to get you started.
1. Make a Difference to your Credit Score
Use a free service to find out what your credit score currently is, then create a plan for improving your rating in the next few years. You’re not going to make a massive difference to this score overnight, but the faster you start working on it, the better off you’ll be in the long term. A good credit score gets you better deals on your future loans, including mortgages and car finance deals. Additionally, it can also improve your chances of being hired for a better job by showing your employer that you’re responsible with your cash. There are however also sites such as HappyPenguin.com who cater for those with poor credit.
2. Make a Weekly Money Date
One of the best things you can do to change your relationship with money, is spend more time with your bank balance. Set some time aside once a week to look at where you’re spending your money, where you need to cut down, and what you need to change in your budget. You can also pay attention to the progress that you’re making towards your goals at this time. Depending on how often your financial needs change, even a monthly money date could be enough.
3. Plan your meals in advance
How much money do you spend on food that never gets eaten? You’d be surprised how many groceries end up in trash bags at the end of the month. To make sure that you’re not wasting anything, plan your meals in advance. This will keep your food costs low by allowing you to buy certain items in bulk. It will also mean that you can prepare your meals early and have them ready to just throw into the oven each night. That way, you’ll be less tempted to order in.
4. Join the Streaming Revolution
A couple of years ago, the idea of getting rid of cable would have been too much for most households to bare. However, these days, you can cut the costs of your entertainment significantly by getting rid of cable patches and switching to streaming TV instead. Watching shows through Netflix and Hulu is often a lot cheaper than having a cable connection, and you’ll have more freedom to choose exactly what you want to watch too.
5. Invite your friends Over
The more friends you have, the more time and money you’re going to spend on things like lunch dates and dinners. If being social is draining your budget, consider looking for a cheaper way to connect with your loved ones. Host a potluck party once a month where everyone can bring their favorite dish. This way, you can save money on going to a fancy restaurant and still have a fantastic time with the people you care about. You can even invite people to bring games and drinks over too, to make a full night of your time together.
6. Sleep on your purchases
Impulse buying is still a big problem for a lot of people today. If you have a habit of clicking “buy” on everything that you want online, remove all your credit card details from your favorite websites and clear your cookies. Once you can’t make instant purchasing decisions, force yourself to wait at least 24 hours before you go and seek out your credit card details. If you’re not as keen to make the purchase the next day, then you’ll know that you were just being seduced by marketing, and you didn’t’ want to buy the product.
7. Choose Quality over Quantity
Finally, every so often when you need to buy something important, like a new sofa or a bed, tell yourself to look for the item that’s going to cost a little more, but last a lot longer. Sometimes you really do get what you pay for, so don’t cut corners on those important purchases.