Do you spend more than you should? You’re not alone. According to online learning platform Goskills, spending less and saving more is one of the top New Year’s Resolutions.
Most of us buy things we don’t really need while wondering why we never have enough money when we do need it.
Spending more than you make not only digs you into a financial hole, but it leads to stress and hardship and conflict.
However, there are a few simple tricks that you can use to spend less and save more.
How to Save More Money and Spend Less
So, how can I save more money each month?
Your ability to save is not a function of how much you make, it’s a function of how much you spend, but curtailing spending habits is where the challenge lies for most of us.
So, before we dive into how to save more money, you need to find ways to reduce your spending.
Here are a few money saving tips to help you get started.
1. Stop buying things you don’t need
One of the most obvious ways to spend less is to cut out any unnecessary purchases. It isn’t always easy, but you don’t have to give up every little luxury.
Start by cuttng out anything you don’t really use, like a gym membership or magazine subscription you’ve almost forgotten about. Check out our handy guide on simple ways to keep fit on a budget (gym membership not required!)
Next, try to identify any bad money habits you’d like to give up or do less of, such as smoking, snacking in between meals, or drinking too much. Finally, look for anything that you could do without in order to spend less.
Remember that you don’t have to give things up entirely in order to save. You could also try buying things less often, looking for someone to share or swap with, or finding free alternatives:
- Go for a run instead of paying for the gym
- Cycle to work instead of driving or using public transport
- Take out a library book instead of buying your own copy
- Visit a free park, museum or gallery instead of paying for a day out
- Spend the evening at a free concert or event rather than buying a ticket
Related: 8 Biggest Ways Women Waste Money
2. Be energy efficient
A good way to cut back without missing much is to reduce your energy use. Turn your thermostat down a few degrees, choose a lower temperature for your wash, and make sure the tires on your car are kept inflated to improve your mileage.
It’s better for the environment too, so you can feel particularly good while you’re spending less.
3. Change your brand or switch suppliers
Even if you can’t stop spending on something, you should still be able to spend less by changing the way you shop.
Most of us have our favourite brands and stick to them, but shopping around can result in big savings.
You might be surprised to find that cheaper or own brand products are often just as good as the leading brands, so give them a go.
It’s also a good idea to compare prices at different shops and online to see if you can get the products you want at a better price.
Don’t forget that you can use the same tactics to save on your other bills too. Switching energy, broadband or insurance suppliers can help you to get the best deal with MoneySupermarket.
Some companies will also give you a discount for paying online or yearly rather than monthly. You might be able to save on your debts too, by transferring them to a new credit card or loan with a lower interest rate.
4. Look for the best deals
Finding a more affordable brand or cheaper supplier is just one way to reduce your spending. You should also:
- Wait for the sales when you can
- Look out for offers and discounts
- Buy in bulk when it’s cheaper
- Use coupons when you can
- Sign up for discount sites and loyalty schemes
However, don’t be tricked into false savings by buying things that you don’t really need just because they’re on offer.
You’re only saving when you’re spending less than you would have on something you wanted to buy anyway.
5. Pay more to spend Less
Although it seems counterintuitive, you should also remember that sometimes you need to pay more for a good quality item in order to end up spending less overall.
Buying one good coat that you’ll keep wearing for years could cost a lot less than buying a cheap new one every year.
6. Look at where you can spend less and save more….
Look at where you can spend less and still get the same outcome. Make it a really fun game. It is not about being miserly or tightfisted. It is about being playful and creative with your money.
What makes this powerful is that, with a little thought, it can help you uncover money saving opportunities that you would not otherwise have spotted.
How to Save More Money
Here are our top tips on how to save more money and achieve your financial goals.
1. Set a financial goal
It can help to know what you are saving for, so try to set yourself a goal.
This could be:
- An emergency fund
- Monthly pension contributions
- A deposit for a house
- An investment
- A holiday, new car, or any other big purchase
As well as deciding what you’re saving for, you should work out how much you want to save.
You’ll then be able to see how close you are to achieving your goal, which should help you to stay motivated. Keep checking your savings regularly to see how well you are doing.
Related: Financial Goals in Order of Priority
2. Make your money work for you
Don’t just leave the money you’re saving in your bank account. It will be too easy to spend and it won’t be earning you any interest.
Open up a separate savings account and make sure that your money is working for you.
You may need to switch accounts to get the best rates. Alternatively, you might want to put your savings into a pension or use a scheme like the Stock and Share ISA to get a better return.
Related: Make Your Money Do the Hard Work
3. Make saving easy for you
Making saving easy is one of the best ways to actually save more money.
The easiest way to pay yourself first is to automate the process. Set up a standing order from your bank account to your savings or investment account on payday or use an app that tells you when you should transfer some money.
You won’t have to think about it. Your money will simply be working nicely for you in the background and you won’t miss the money you never see!
4. Try a no spend challenge
Try a “No-Spend Challenge”. What the heck is a No-Spend Challenge?
It is where you set yourself the challenge of spending nothing on certain superfluous things for a week, a weekend, or a month.
Remember to check out your bank balance at the end of the challenge – you’ll be amazed by how much you saved.
5. Don’t forget the pennies
Saving up your change in a jar might seem like a waste of time, but it can add up quickly.
Bagging up your change and taking it to the bank can also feel more satisfying than transferring money out of your savings account.
It can make you feel like you’re really making progress, which can help you to keep going.
Staying motivated is the key to saving, so focus on your goal, keep track of your progress, and reward yourself when you do well.
Talking of which, try a saving challenge!
6. Try the 1p saving challenge
This challenge encourages making small incremental savings each day. Basically, the idea is that you save 1p on day one, increasing it by a penny each day… so, 2p on day two, 3p on day three, 10p on day ten and so on, all the way up to day. Here’s how the Ip Saving Challenge works
- Day 1, you save 1p
- Day 2 you save 2p
- Day 3 you save 3p
Then it continues throughout the year saving 1p a day. By increasing the amount, you save each day by just 1p, by the last day, the biggest amount you’ll have to save in a day is £3.65.
At the end of the year, you will save £667.95. A penny saved is a penny earned!
Are you ready to achieve your money goals this YEAR!?
If you are ready to take action and achieve your financial goals, our Financial Success Planner is great place to start!
The planner will help you figure out what you really want to achieve with your money, define your long-term goals and break your big goals into monthly and weekly action plan so you can incorporate them into your daily activities.
You CAN achieve your money goals. All you need is clarity and a step-by-step guide to help you stay focused, track your progress and reach your financial goals.
Over to you..
Do you have any other tips for saving more money, spending less and sticking to your savings goals?
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