March 23, 2018
The first goal of managing your finances must be to spend less than you earn, as otherwise you will simply accumulate more and more debt. Then your next goal could be to save more than you spend but resisting the temptation to splash the cash is not always easy.
Here, we look at some simple ways you can make sure you spend less and save more.
Think very carefully before making any impulse buys
If you see something you really want, such as a fantastic-looking designer clothing item, then stop to consider whether you can actually afford it. If the answer is No, then no matter how great the temptation is, you quite simply shouldn’t be buying it. One possible compromise though might be to start saving, so that you can buy the item at a later date.
Buy on odd-numbered days only
Be disciplined and tell yourself that on even-numbered days you can only buy the bare essentials. Anything from luxury clothing purchases to grabbing an expensive take-away coffee can be left to an odd-numbered day.
Leave your cards at home
If all that is to hand is a small bit of cash, and you don’t have your credit cards with you, then it becomes difficult to buy anything except the essentials.
Think about the real cost of impulse buys
If you see something expensive that you really fancy, then stop for a moment and ask yourself what else you could buy for the same sum. For example, how much in the way of groceries could you buy for the same price as a luxury handbag?
Open a savings account
Find a savings account that pays a good rate of interest and arrange for a fixed sum to be transferred into this account from your current account after every payday.
Become a discount junkie
Consider devoting more time to searching out discounts and rewards and loyalty schemes, after all doing so could really benefit you in the long run. Before buying anything, ask yourself – is there a way I could get this item for less? Given you can visit all manner of discount sites and price comparison sites, and can join so many different rewards schemes, the answer could well be Yes.
Make a budget
Keep on top of exactly how much you spend by making use of one of the many online budget planners.
Make a list before every shopping trip
By making a list of the things you genuinely need to buy, you should hopefully be able to restrict your purchases to the items that appear on your list. Ideally, you would go one step further, and have your meals menu for the week ahead finalised before you enter the supermarket. If you hit the shops without a list, you could end up spending much more as you buy anything and everything which you think might be useful.
Consider downsizing to a cheaper brand
Try buying a cheaper version of some of the food and household items you buy regularly. You may even find that you like the discount brand as much as your old favourite, in which case you can stick with the cheaper brand long-term and save money each week as a result.
Pay your bills via direct debit
Not only is direct debit the most convenient way of paying regular bills, it ensures you won’t forget to pay. You may also find that the company offers incentives for paying online.
Don’t pay ATM fees
Find out in which ATMs you can use your bank card free of charge. You certainly don’t want to be shelling out every time you need to withdraw some cash.