If you are not a good saver then this article is just for you! If you are, then great, you might pick up some new tips and become even better at it.
Saving leads to a healthy financial life and avoids you having to go into debt. Often times when unplanned expenses come up, like the washing machine or fridge breaking down we have to borrow to cover it. These aren’t items we can do without and so if the only way to buy a replacement is to borrow, what choice do we have? There is a whole list of ‘emergencies’ where we may need to buy something immediately. If we had savings we would have peace of mind that we have a cushion should we need money fast!
Being a savvy saver also means we can set ourselves goals and more importantly reach them! For the most part we save usually for the short term. Perhaps for a car, holiday, decorating, new furniture, laptop and so on. However, once you become a savvy saver you could look to more long term saving perhaps for a deposit on a house for example.
Pay Yourself First
Yes, you! Realising you are the most important thing in this whole situation is so crucial to becoming a savvy saver! You must pay yourself first. Now we are not suggesting in any way that you skip important bills or don’t pay your mortgage or rent on time, but when you get an income, instantly transfer something towards your savings account, no matter how small. Make the commitment that your savings are paid first. Ideally we should save 10% of all our earned income, but if you are starting out, just put away what you can. Remember it doesn’t matter how small the amount so long as you are saving something. This will build over time and when you see your savings grow it will encourage you to save more!
Make it a Habit!
If you are not a regular saver this can be tricky, but in a short time you will get used to putting aside a regular amount each week or month and it becomes a habit to you – yes, there are good habits too!
As a guideline you are working towards having 3-6 months of your living expenses available in a savings account in case of emergency. This is of course an ideal and wouldn’t we all love to be in that position? Well, you can, but start where you are at, even if that only means being able to save a few pounds a week. £1 is better than none right?
If you struggle with having even a little spare money to save, start to look at ways you could save money on what you spend already. Go through all your regular bills and payments to see where you could reduce the amounts. You will be surprised! Getting cheaper energy bills, mobile phone contracts, TV or movie subscription charges, the list goes on. Look at where your money goes now and consider whether you truly need to make that payment. If you do then look at how you could reduce that payment. Perhaps you subscribe to different TV channels with movies, sports and so on – do you need all those channels? You could save over £20 a month just be reducing the TV channels you watch.
Looking at saving on where you spend now means you are freeing up money you could be saving!
If you use a tumble dryer why not air your washing or hang it out on dry days. It is surprising how much energy a tumble dryer consumes with regular use.
Get yourself a spending tracker app on your phone. You may think you know where your money goes but you will be quite surprised if you track your spending for a month. Do you eat out regularly? Buy lunch or drinks while you are at work? Cut down on things like this and you will save yourself a tidy sum each week just by making your own lunch!
At the hear of every savvy saver’s kitchen is a well-stocked pantry! If you are one of those people who is constantly at the supermarket or corner shop you are not being a savvy saver. Think ahead to what meals you are preparing and try to stock up on flavour enhancers to spice up what meals you do have. Keep rice and pasta so you can always have something to whip up in the kitchen.
Saving is Good for Your Health!
We all know smoking is bad for you. Even those who smoke know that. Each time you light up you are literally burning money. Around £3,000 a year if you smoke 20 a day to be exact! So as well as being harmful to your health it is extremely harmful to your pocket and your potential savings!
There is always a reason not to save, so make the commitment to yourself and start today. Share your intention with someone so they can help you in your quest to become a savvy saver and ask you how it’s going. Surround yourself with things that help you become a better saver; read blogs or articles that give tips and advice on how to save.
Nottingham Credit Union can help!
We offer a number of options to help you become a better saver, get in touch with a member of our team to talk about it.