Here are 10 money saving tips to help you reach your goals. These are all quick and easy to implement as daily habits and don’t require too much restraint or work. Use these and see your finances transformed over time.
Tip 1: Pay yourself first
Instead of spending all your money and being sad when you realize that there’s nothing left to save, rather decide on a small savings amount upfront and transfer that to a separate savings account as soon as you are paid. That way you force yourself to survive off a little less money and the savings are safely kept in a different account. See what paying yourself first really means.
Tip 2: Round up
When shopping, round the final bill up to the nearest R10 or R50 (depends how aggressively you wish to save). Right there and then just transfer the difference straight into your savings account. So, if you spend R26.80 then round it up to R30 and immediately transfer R3.20 to your savings. You get some awesome apps that will do this for you or if you’re with a bank that offers free savings accounts it’s quite simple.
This may seem silly and almost pointless, but those small bits add up.
Tip 3: Plan your meals
One of the most common money saving tips is to plan your meals for the week and take food to the office. Sure, sounds easy enough but it really works. It does take a little getting used to but it really is not that hard. The idea is to prevent you from getting stuck in situations where you’re forced to buy take-aways or ready-made meals. Finding food when you’re ‘hangry’ can be costly!
Tip 4: Shop with a list
Shopping without a list will generally result in you buying stuff that you don’t need. Make a list of what you need and buy just that. It’s faster to shop and you’ll save money by staying focused. See this post on saving money on grocery shopping.
Tip 5: Join a store loyalty program
Almost every store has a loyalty program. I only join at stores where I often shop as I don’t want the hassle of multiple cards or apps to manage them all. However, you do get rewarded in the form of vouchers, discounts, freebies, etc so it is generally well worth it.
Tip 6: Convert gifts to savings
This is a nifty money saving tip for when you receive any gifts in the form of cash or shopping vouchers. If it’s cash, save half! Immediately transfer it to your savings account. If you receive gift vouchers though, use the vouchers and then transfer half of the value to your savings. So, if you receive a R100 gift card then you will really be spending R100 less of your own money hence you can save R50.
Tip 7: Use a piggy bank
Find yourself a good old-fashioned piggy bank and put all your loose change in there. It’s really amazing how much you can save without even noticing a difference. Small change can add up and allow you to buy a little unexpected gift.
Tip 8: Reassess your insurance policies
This should be done annually and it only takes an hour at most. Simply read through your policy and check that your insurance matches what you own. Are you perhaps over insured? Also send your existing policy details to other insurers to see if you can get a better deal. Always try to negotiate to get the best deal you can! See how I saved over R400 a month on car insurance.
Tip 9: Track all your spending
This is a great way to save costs! Simply make a note each and every time you spend anything. Not only will it give you a better idea of where your money is going, it’ll also help you find what you’re wasting money on! You can do this in a journal or find one of the many apps that’ll help you. See how I use the YNAB app in South Africa.
Tip 10: Cut down on one luxury item
Think of some of the luxury items you may purchase. By ‘luxury’ I don’t mean a million dollar watch, I actually just mean something that you don’t really need. Luxury items are things that you can really live without. Coffee, candy, eating out, alcohol, etc… Decide on one item and cut down for the month.
Bonus Tip: Make it a game
Saving money can really be fun and if you track your weekly or monthly savings it can actually get quite addictive. Make it a game and try to improve your score each day, week or month.
Saving money shouldn’t be so hard and strenuous that you struggle to do it. But, at the same time it does take some effort and restraint. If it was so easy then everyone would be doing it, right?
Find the money saving tips that work for you and be consistent in it. Every small bit counts and over time these small habits can make a huge difference to your relationship with money.