Regardless of our personal reasons, the simple fact is that everyone can benefit from having that extra bit of cash. By alleviating pressure and providing security, the best way to save money is to make it a habit by implementing small yet effective techniques into our lives that can add up to make a big difference in the long run.
- Make a budget: By monitoring your spending habits and setting out a budget for each week, you can keep track of exactly where your money is going. This makes it considerably easier to make cutbacks where you deem them necessary and ensure you always live within your means.
- Make lists: Getting everything down on paper is a great way to clear your mind of stress and keep you focussed towards saving money. By writing a list of everything you need to pay for each week and making sure you never enter a shop without a list of only the items you need, you can cut down on unnecessary spending.
- Avoid big brands: Most people know that big name clothing brands and designers charge more and are best avoided when trying to save money but the same is true across the board. From appliances to food to home furnishings; the bigger the name, the bigger the price tag.
- DIY: Dangerous tasks involving electrics should be left to the professionals but with a bit of patience and effort you can often take care of the decorating or fix broken goods yourself, saving the need to fork out a load of cash to hire in help.
- Make friends: Perhaps DIY was just never your thing but even so that doesn’t have to mean paying full price. ‘Mates rates’ can significantly lessen the blow to your bank account and so being friendly with the locals can come in very handy.
- Don’t renew policies: When you have used the same insurance providers for many years, it can be all too easy to simply renew your policy when the time comes but shopping around can often uncover much better deals elsewhere.
- Reclaim where possible: There are many situations where we lose money that could have been retained had we put up a fight. Be it overdraft charges, PPI claims from mis-sold policies or ticket fees for delayed trains, if you don’t ask, you won’t get but in many cases you will be entitled to compensation.
- Clear your debt: Putting money aside at the end of the week can feel difficult when there are constant drains on your finances. The sooner you are debt free, the sooner your money is yours to do with as you please.
- Learn to say ‘no’: Whether it is friends inviting you on a night out you cannot afford; businesses wanting to add extras onto your purchases; children requesting an expensive new toy or your own temptation drawing you towards an item you simply do not need, having the willpower to say no is often your best defence.
Saving money does not have to be a daunting or difficult task. It is less about individual strategies and more about a lifestyle change towards a more sensible way of living. In time, these techniques will simply become habit and you will save money without even feeling as though you are going to any extra effort.