When it comes to financial security, we all know that it’s a good idea to save something for a rainy day. But that can often be easier in principal than in practice.
With most of us already living on a budget and stretching our monthly allowances to the limit, saving for the future can easily slip to the bottom of the priorities list. Saving a little each month is achievable though; you just need to change a few of your habits.
There are already lots of schemes in place that will make your money work for you, from savings accounts with good interest rates to tax efficient investment ISAs, so these are always worth looking into. However if you’re looking to save on a smaller scale each month, read on for 5 easy money saving tips that will help you save for a rainy day.
Maintain your home and car
You’d be surprised how much we spend on our homes and cars each year. You might think you’re saving money by paying for cheap repairs on your car, or even replacing your broken sofa with a budget new one. However this type of expenditure can often end up costing your more money in the long run.
Spending a little extra to look after your car and your home will ensure that your possessions last longer. As well as giving you better value for money, you’ll be reducing the amount of waste your household produces.
Keeping your home well maintained will reduce the amount of repairs you need to spend money on, and hopefully stop you having to use a big chunk of savings in one fell swoop. If you notice something like damp, get a professional in as soon as possible; ignoring it is only going to make the repair bigger and more expensive.
When it comes to car maintenance, simple money saving tips like making sure your tyres are properly inflated, keeping oil levels topped up and sticking to the service schedule will help you to avoid costly repairs. Always follow the manufacturers guidelines on your vehicle, and only use a reputable garage.
Track your spending
£5 here, £3.80 there…they might seem like insignificant amounts, but they soon add up. Keep track of your spending by writing down everything you purchase, or use a budgeting app. This is a good way to highlight those unnecessary expenses that often fall under the radar – things like takeaway coffees, convenience food and impulse clothing purchases are all great examples.
Once you’ve got a true picture of where your money goes every month, it will be much easier to identify areas where you can make some savings.
Invest in quality
If at all possible, try to invest in good quality when you’re shopping. Back to school is a great example of a key shopping event when it’s very tempting to buy cheap shoes and clothes, but remember that these are only cost-effective if they’re going to last. If you end up buying everything again in a few months’ time, you’re not saving money! Instead aim to invest in good quality shoes, clothing, lunch bags etc that will last the entire school year. Your savings will thank you, and again you’ll be reducing the amount of waste you generate.
It’s a well-known fact that paying by cash instead of card makes us spend differently. Having something physical to hand over, rather than the convenience of plastic, makes us less willing to spend.
You can use this to your advantage; take out some cash each week and leave the card at home!
Keep on top of your debts
Paying off debt is one of the biggest barriers to saving. If you have debts, aim to pay them off as quickly as possible, or at least make the minimum payment each month. This will help to stop your debts spiralling out of control and keep them at a manageable level.
It’s an obvious point, but if you’d like to start saving more, you need to avoid adding to any existing debt. Leaving the credit card at home, carrying out a review of your spending, and setting a monthly budget are all good habits to practice. Make sure you review your progress regularly; as well as helping you stay on track, it’s really rewarding to see how well you’re doing!
What are your top money saving tips for helping to grow your savings?