Do you have a job? Get more jobs. Do you own a house? Buy another one. Do you eat avocado toast? Try plain.
There is a lot of advice out there about saving money that can feel judgmental and actually a bit silly. The chances are if you have a job, you don’t have the time to get a whole new job on top. And if you have a house, your money is probably going towards paying that off rather than buying another one.
However, savings aren’t just a little bit important – they are a safety net. The type that when things go wrong, can get you out of a sticky situation. To keep yourself on track, check out the reviews of the best finance apps.
So rather than looking at the significant ways to save, we are going to take a look at small ways to save up. For people who are just considering saving, or those that want to get more in their pot.
This one might sound a little bit odd, but if we wasted less time watching TV, you are much more likely to be productive and find other ways to spend your time. Not to mention that the pence/cents that you save will add up over the year.
And, you are really looking to make small changes here. If you had more free time, what would you do with it? Most people will find productive things – odd jobs around the house, learning new skills, maybe even a side business. Hey, and if you are watching telly less – you can drop some of those subscriptions or your cable package too.
If you have a lot of things you don’t love, and don’t use – and the chances are that you do, then it might just be time to say goodbye. It is estimated that people have around 4 thousand pounds/dollars worth of things they don’t need in their homes.
So unless you are a minimalist, it might be time to take a look around and see what you can say goodbye to. Grab some sticky notes and start walking around your home, put a sticker on anything that you don’t love, use or adds no value to your life.
Don’t rush to do this one, you can do it over time – after all, things take time to sell, and this is a long term goal.
This is the perfect time to scale back that overstuffed closet you probably have too. We are big purchasers of fast fashion, and the fact is we don’t really need that many clothes. The idea is to make money, but you might choose to donate what you don’t wear.
This one is all about making yourself wait for what you want. If you see a pair of sneakers, or a breadmaker, or perhaps the latest game release – ask yourself do you need it. In fact, what you are looking to do here is stop asking yourself if you need it, and wait 30 days before you go back to look at the item again. We are very tuned to impulse purchases, so this will begin to train your brain out of this way of thinking.
More often than note, after that 30 days, you will no longer want the item, the moment has passed, and you have saved yourself the cash.
Before you step foot out of the front door, write a list of what you need from the store. In fact, write the list after you have eaten something too. The easiest way to spend way over budget is to go to the grocery store, and go aisle by aisle and put things in the basket you don’t know if you need, but you think you might…
Or buying things on offer with no clear plan of how you will use them. Writing a list will cut out your impulse buys, and you are less likely to buy ‘extras’.
Swapping out brands for unbranded is a relatively small change, and many people say that they don’t like the unbranded goods. In a blind taste test, most people wouldn’t know which is which. So, hop on the generic food train, and you will immediately see your bill is smaller.
This goes hand in hand with the shopping list. If you aren’t planning your weekly meals, then the chances are you have a lot of food waste and a lot of wasted cash. When you plan your meals, you give yourself the opportunity to batch cook too. Meaning you can cook for half the week in one go, and you are going to save a serious amount on the shopping by doing that.
If you have access to the internet, or your local supermarket posts flyers then plan some of your meals around that week’s specials. Usually, you will be able to pick up fresh produce and meats a lot less than a typical week.
With the items that we use a lot, it makes sense to bulk buy them. Not only that, but search for coupons and deals for the things that you need so that you can strike while the price is right.
Typically items that don’t perish can be purchased months ahead of when you are intending to use them. Washing powder, dishwasher tablets, long-life milk, tinned foods, rice, toilet paper, and soap are great places to start. Slowly build your stash up, and eventually, you won’t need to add these to your weekly shop at all.
Using a slow cooker, or a crock pot will give you the option to use much cheaper cuts of meat and vegetables. They are cooked for much longer, and the flavors tend to infuse beautifully. You can cook large pots of soups and stews, that will last a few days – this is especially great in the winter when people really want something warm and hearty.
As mentioned in the previous point, it is the best time to start batch cooking. If you x4 the amount of food you are making, and begin to freeze the excess, you can roll them over to the following week. Meaning in any given week you can, after a month or so, entirely skip buying groceries for the evening meals, and sometimes both breakfast and lunch if you are a master batch cooker.
Very often we cook too much, and rather than freeze the leftovers or heat them up the next day, perfectly good food hits the compost. Because ‘we don’t want to eat the same thing twice’. Well, the easiest way to tackle this is to jazz up the leftovers. If you have rice leftover, add something different into it or fry it up. Leftover roasted veggies? Make some mash and add cheese.
We have a terrible habit of letting things get into such a bad state of repair we have no choice but to hire someone to fix it. Which is a shame because most of the time home maintenance and fixing things ourselves will save a lot of money – and typically if you don’t know how to do something there will be a youtube video that can help you.
When it comes to saving money, you should always look to make the small cuts just as much as the big ones. Keeping track of where your frivolous spends happen (and we all have them), will really help you too. Saving money doesn’t happen overnight, so take your time and keep your eye on the price. Oh and, try to set a goal for your savings.