Most of us were taught that saving money is wise, yet as we grow up, we often forget the golden cardinal rule. Much of the world’s economies rely on consumerism to grow and this perpetuates a culture of debt.
Saving money isn’t possible if you are not able to have money left to save. So, let’s bring it back to the basics by laying out a few money saving tips that will put more money back into your pocket and allow you to set some of it aside.
Avoid a Sale If You can
It’s easy to lose all your common sense when you set foot outside your house and into a store. Companies have mastered the art of coming up with new ways to hook consumers.
Be careful of phrases like “never to be repeated,” and “up to 80 percent off.” Ask yourself how often you read those payoff lines only to have a better sale a month later. Pay attention to how many items are actually marked down by 80 percent; probably not many and it is more likely to be stock that they are battling to sell.
The golden rule is, if you do not need it then don’t buy it. Get into the habit of planning your purchases and stick to what it is you actually need. Soon it will become second nature and you will enjoy the benefits.
Only Buy in Bulk When You Need It in Bulk
It makes sense to buy in bulk and get the discounts, but not on everything. Clothing stores love advertising deals where you get a discount on clothing if you buy three or more of the same item. Often, they make it so appealing and even help you to realize that you can now afford this shirt in every color.
If you needed one pair of trousers, then only buy one pair. Just because it’s cheaper to buy by the dozen, doesn’t mean you need to own a dozen.
Draw up a Budget and Stick to It
This is not only something that helps you to manage what you spend, but it also gives you the hard facts on paper. We often end up wasting so much money by not tracking how much we spend on non-essentials.
One good example is fast food. Tally it up and see how much money it cost you and then think about how much money you could have saved by eating at home. Let’s not even mention the health benefits that save you on doctors’ bills further down the line.
Use Your Credit Card as a Savings Plan
This has got to be the world’s best kept secret. Credit cards often pay a higher interest rate on a positive balance than that of a fixed-term deposit investment. Best of all, the money is available anytime and it has massive benefits for your credit score, because you have credit to your disposal that you are not using. If you are planning on buying your first house, think about the benefits of having a better credit score than most.
Declutter and Sell All Your Unwanted Items
This must be the hardest one for most of us. Getting rid of clutter in your house looks easy on reality television but getting down to do it yourself is hard. We all have stuff we really don’t need. Clothing, lamps, furniture, electronics, music instruments, and more can be sold at your local thrift store or online.
When times are tough or if you want to do improvements on your home, why not sell unwanted or seldomly used items and let that finance your next DIY project.
Small Things You Can Do to Save on Your Utilities
This might seem insignificant but try this out and tally up your savings over a twelve-month period. You will be surprised how this can add to your money saving adventure and make a meaningful contribution.
Try replacing all your light bulbs with energy efficient LED lights. They are not expensive anymore and they can bring down your utility bill by between 5-10 percent.
And don’t leave ghost appliances running unnecessarily. This is especially true if you don’t watch television a lot or if you will be going away. Most appliances have some sort of LED light that burns. You will be surprised how much power that wastes simply by being plugged in even when not in use.
Once your mobile phone is charged, turn off the power source because phone chargers keep pulling power even if they don’t charge a phone.
Bring Your Own Lunch
This can sound like a drag, but this has the potential to save you a lot of money. Most of us are guilty of this one. We are so rushed and tired that we leave lunch making at the bottom of our priority list. Yet, when you add up what you spend on work lunches every month, you will be surprised to see how much goes to waste.
This isn’t an easy one because we all have different situations at home. If you live in the city, taking the bus or the train makes complete sense. Public transport definitely works out cheaper than driving your own car.
If you live close enough to work, consider getting a bicycle or walking to work. This will not only keep you healthy but save you money on transport and a gym membership. This has the potential to save you money, time, and improve your overall health.