10 Ways to save money
Saving money can be tough, but by learning how to make a budget and understanding the savings tools you have available to you will allow you to prioritise savings and achieve your financial goals. Whether it’s a comfortable retirement, a down payment for a house, or a new car you can get there by setting money aside.
Here are a few ways of making that start to having some savings:
- Make Saving a Priority
You’ll be more likely to save money if you make it a priority. Sit down and figure out what you’d like to save money for – retirement, a house, car, college, dream holiday - and how much it’ll cost, then make your plan:
- Set a timeline for when you’d like to reach your goal.
- Set a schedule by dividing the total goal amount by the number of weeks, months or pay periods between now and your goal date.
- Be vigilant by treating your savings contribution just like any other must-pay expense, such as rent or groceries.
- Create a budget
- Work out what you can afford before spending it.
- Include your personal costs – transport, entertainment, incidental expenses, etc. – in your budget as this prevents overspending.
- Plan for unforeseen circumstances such as an emergency.
- Allow yourself to budget for things you love to do.
- Update your budget regularly.
- Wait a month before you buy anything big
Much of our buying is on impulse, even when it comes to big items. If you have your heart set on buying an expensive item, tell yourself you can have it if you still want it after 30 days.
- Write a list before you go shopping – and stick to it
By making a shopping list not only can it help you buy items that fit with your meal plan, but it can also help you avoid buying food you might waste.
- Consider potluck dinners instead of eating out
When you invite family and friends for dinner, ask them to bring dishes such as salads, mains and desserts to share with the group. This will cut down on your costs and preparation time.
- Pack your own lunches
Takeaways are expensive. Make your own healthy lunches, and calculate the difference in cost. Put that money away every day.
- Travel smart
Using your car can cost you a lot of money so consider the following options to getting around:
- Try carpooling and have friends or family help you out with petrol costs.
- Use public transport alternatives like trains and bus services.
- Cancel memberships you don’t use
Haven’t been to the gym in the last few months? Either start going again, or cancel your membership.
- Save money by saving electricity at home
Understanding your usage can help lower your bill. If, for instance, all the lights in your home are switched on unnecessarily, your energy demand increases. Higher energy usage affects the national power grid, which can lead to load shedding. This is why we’re encouraged to monitor the amount of electricity we use. Find out more.
- Avoid high telephone bills
Use free minutes, social media or internet chat sites for a fraction of the cost of a telephone call, and avoid signing up with expensive cell phone contracts.