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Up until I got together with the other half, I was terrible at saving. Every month I would buy handbags, make up, other stuff I didn’t need but wanted. I never ever put money away. Then we got together and he was a serious saver. And now, almost eight years down the line, I have gotten used to the fact that he has a spreadsheet containing all of our finances. What goes out, what comes in – it’s all there in black and white.
Now that I have got used to having a serious saver, I have definitely got better myself. Before I quit my day job, I paid in an amount to our savings account, and now, anything I earn each month over a certain amount, goes that way too. Sometimes it can be hard to save when it’s so tempting to spend instead, but having a safety net to fall back on is an important way to make sure that you’re prepared for anything and everything that life has to throw at you – especially when there are children involved (new shoes anyone?!). So, if you’re looking for a way to get to grips with your savings account, the following tips could help.
3D illustration by Quince Media
Transfer savings automatically
A great no-hassle way to make sure that you’re always keeping hold of the extra money left over in your bank account, is to set up an automatic transfer into your savings account. By automating transfers, you make sure that you don’t forget about the need for a reliable safety net. This can make it easier to avoid the temptation of spending too, as you won’t see the cash lingering in your current account.
Consolidate existing debt
Debt is a common problem for many people in today’s world. Whether you’ve got a bunch of credit card debts to worry about, or you’re trying to keep on top of personal loans, one of the best things you can do is consolidate your debt into one cheaper repayment. Paying off loans with high interest fees by taking out another, lower-expense loan could make it easier for you to dedicate more cash to your savings account. Loan comparison websites such as Readies.co.uk can help with this.
Establish a goal
Sometimes, the easiest way to make sure that you stick to your savings efforts, is to make sure that you have a goal in mind – something to strive for. After income and expenses, your goals are likely to have the largest impact on the way you save and spend money. Remember, you can have both short-term goals, and long-term goals. For instance, you might want to save for retirement, but also have enough cash for a great family holiday.
Have a budget
A great way to boost your savings potential is to look at how much money you get in a month, and how much you spend in the same amount of time. This will help you to figure out how much you should have left over to put into a savings account. With a budget in hand, you’ll be able to see all the places where you might be able to cut down on frivolous spending. This should make it easier to keep more money in your pocket at the end of each month.
While it’s always simpler to stick with the same provider month after month and year after year, this can sometimes stop you from getting the best deals on your monthly expenses. For instance, if you’re paying for gas and electric from the same provider you had two years ago, there’s a good chance that you can find a better deal by switching to someone new. Remember that disloyalty can pay, as most companies will hope that you’ll be too lazy to move your money somewhere else when their original welcoming deals come to an end.
Sell the things you don’t need
Sometimes, making the most out of your savings simply means looking for extra opportunities to stock-pile cash, wherever they might exist. If you have a free afternoon one weekend, go through your attic and look for anything you might be able to sell on eBay or in a car-boot sale. This includes gifts you didn’t want, and even gift-cards that you might be able to exchange for cash.
Look for ways to make additional income
If you’re struggling to find the cash you need to contribute to a savings account after you’ve finished paying for bills and regular expenses, and there’s nothing else you can cut back on in your budget, it might be time to look for a second job. The great news is that there are plenty of flexible part-time careers available in the world today, thanks to things like remote working and telecommuting. You can pick up jobs that you can do from the comfort of your own home after you’re finished with your schedule at the office.
Change savings accounts
Finally, remember that one of the biggest benefits of savings accounts is the fact that you can make money on your savings with regular interest. To ensure that you’re getting the highest return possible, regularly check out what kind of deals alternative providers are offering to ensure that you’re getting the rewards you deserve.
Hopefully there are a few things in there that will help you to get a little more nifty with your savings 🙂