Wednesday, September 16, 2009

10 easy tips on saving money

I like saving money, can you tell? I also like to spend money. One thing I have noticed a lot is that when people say they saved $20 on something, either it was on sale or second hand etc... 9 times out of 10, it wasn’t actually SAVED. It was spent somewhere else. Maybe not straight away, but I’ll bet that $20 “saved” was kept in their wallet or account until it was eventually spent.

I hear so often people claiming they can’t save anything; it’s too hard, I don’t know what happens to it all. But so many people don’t do anything to save. So, I’m going to let you all know what I do with the actual money, not how to cut your expenditure, but how to actually SAVE money, so when emergencies come you will have a buffer.

1.) Create a separate account. Preferably an online untouchable one with high interest. There are so many of them out there now, it’s easy to get one. The great thing about them, besides higher interest, is you can’t spend easily. You have to transfer the money online back into your normal account, and then withdraw it. More often than not this is enough of a deterrent. You’ll realise that whatever it is you wanted on impulse, you didn’t really need.

2.) Save 10% each payday. That is the recommended amount, but if you really feel you can’t do it, just do something. Have payroll take it out of your pay before you even see it. Most companies will do this.

3.) Transfer the small amounts. That is, round down your account online when you check it. If there is $103.84 in there, either round it down to $103.00 or even $100. Transfer the few cents or little dollars into your online savings account. No, it’s not much, but it something. Do it 10 times and it’s $38.40 you will have in savings that your would have otherwise frittered away.

4.) When you save money on something you purchased, save the difference. You were going to spend $100 on new shoes, but got some for $50; put the other $50 into your savings. You were going to spend it anyway, so pretend you did and save it for a rainy day.

5.) Put all tax returns, bonuses, birthday money etc... into savings.

6.) If you do surveys online, when you trade your points for cash, put that cash into savings.

7.) Sell off everything you can on eBay now. Put that into savings, so when you need money it’s there. You wont need to list things later, hope they sell and have to wait 2 weeks to get the money when you need it.

8.) Work on reducing your expenses, but as you do so, transfer the difference. Say you put aside $20 a week for electricity bills. But you are now a savvy electricity user and have been following my tips on saving electricity, so your bills are $50 a quarter less. Move this $50 into savings.

9.) Have a money tin. I am loving my money tin. It is getting so heavy. I put my spare coins in it after I have gone shopping, sometimes $5 notes and sometimes extra cash I come across, such as when I do a haircut. This is a great one to have in the laundry too. Have a rule; any money that comes out in the wash is yours to keep.

10.) Have a goal. If you are saving towards something, it is so much easier to save, rather than just thinking, I’ve got to save. I do up little graphs and colour them in as I reach closer to my goal. I have blocks worth $10 or $20, and every time I get $10, I colour in a block. I have it up somewhere so it is visual and reminds me what I am saving for.

Creating some savings is not as hard as we tend to make out. Start small, and work your way up. Something is better than nothing.

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