Quite often the first step for anyone wanting to improve their financial situation will be to try to make changes to save money. Here are 5 changes you can make right now to boost your coffers:
1. Carry out a review of your bank statements:
These days it’s so easy to pay for everyday items, especially since the introduction of contactless payment, but has this made us more care free with our money? Try going through your bank statements from the past 6 months line by line and highlighting payments which you think could have been avoided or that were not really worthwhile. Add up all those transactions and see how much you could have saved if you hadn’t made them. Next time you are in the same situation you may just think twice about spending.
2. Pay yourself first
When our salary comes in each month most of us will take care of the bills first. After that we will make our way through the month basing our spending decisions on how much we have left in our account. Once we get to the end of the month we may then save anything left over. If you really want to build your savings you must get into the habit of paying yourself first. When you receive your salary put a realistic amount aside into your savings account. Next take care of the household bills. Finally you can make your way through the month deciding what to spend based on what’s left in your account. If you are torn about buying something, you are much more likely to buy it if there is extra cash in your account. Make yourself a little poorer each month and you will be a lot better off in the future.
3. Stop buying lunch
How much do you spend on food each day whilst at work? Do you grab a coffee and a croissant on the way in? Do you have a Subway each day for lunch? Look at what you are spending each day and see where changes can me made. Taking a homemade lunch (and even a flask of coffee) can literally save thousands. Save yourself £20 a week and that’s £1,040 over the course of a year! By all means treat yourself occasionally but if you want to be saving money then preparing your own food will always be the best option.
4. Have a clear-out
How much of the stuff in your house do you use or need? I recently moved out and I had boxes and boxes of stuff I didn’t need. Spend a day clearing out your house and there is money to be made. Be ruthless (unless it’s very sentimental you won’t miss it when it’s gone) and sort into two piles: eBay and boot sale. Items that you originally paid good money for may have a decent resell value on eBay (designer clothes, collectibles, electrical goods). Anything that you don’t sell on eBay pack up and take to a car boot sale.
5. Set goals
How much should you try to save? I would suggest setting a challenging but achievable savings goal. Don’t leave yourself having to eat rice and beans every meal as you will be more likely to give up. Set a goal which will challenge you and make you go the extra mile but won’t cause you to give up altogether. Whether it’s saving money or losing weight, setting goals can be the difference between success and failure. Learn more about why setting goals is important here.