No matter where you fall on the socio-economic spectrum, you probably have something in common with many other UK residents. If you are in this majority, you could do a better job saving money for the future. Professional retirement advice outlines financial strategies you can follow to build a nest egg over time, but without the savings to fund retirement investments, you won’t get very far.
Even with the best intentions, it can be hard to carve savings from your monthly budget. Between recurring expenses, such as your mortgage and car payment, and fleeting discretionary buys; there isn’t always money left over to save. Fortunately, there are tricks and tips you can use, reinforcing your efforts to put away money for the future. Try these proven moves to start building a healthy savings account today.
Take Your Time
Impulse buys often undermine otherwise healthy financial habits. If you are prone to making quick buys and your savings suffer as a result; slow things down a little, giving yourself time to evaluate each spending opportunity.
Is the item or service genuinely needed? Are you getting the best price? Do you have funds available to pay cash? Answers to these and other questions can save you from financial distress, ensuring your purchases make sense. Once the spending is justified you can follow through closing a deal, but a waiting period gives you time to sort out the details, without pressure to spend on the spot. You might be surprised how often you decide to do without these costly impulse buys.
If ill-advised spending takes money away from your savings account, you may have to change your habits. If you shop more than you should, for instance, reduce your spending temptation by staying clear of retail outlets. And if dining out eats-up your savings, home cooked meals can turn things around. As long as you are honest about your spending triggers, you’ll find ways to avoid temptation.
Tackle it Yourself
From minor household repairs to spa services, a do-it-yourself approach can yield substantial savings. If you are committed to saving, paint your own nails, rather than paying for manicures. And wash your own car, instead of hiring someone to do it for you. Once you’ve committed to these hands-on saving opportunities, you’ll be shocked how many ways you can generate money, simply by taking-on tasks you once paid for. DIY windfalls can be directed to your savings account, helping build resources for the future.
Don’t Play the Status Game
People get caught up maintaining appearances, sometimes leading to irresponsible money management. If you devote too much of your income to status spending, your personal savings are bound to suffer. Instead of keeping up with the neighbors, set your own budget limits and live within your means. Designer clothes and ultra-exotic vacations may be off limits, but you’ll find more money to put by for emergencies and comfortable retirement.
Spend Only What You Have
Personal debt is a healthy feature of household finances, until balances interfere with your ability to save money. If credit spending is more than you can afford, take a hard line with your budget, allowing only purchases for which you can pay cash. Not only will you save money on the cost of servicing your debts, but you’ll also discourage yourself from making ill-advised purchases. For the best outcomes, leave your credit cards at home when you go shopping and don’t keep your card numbers on file with online retailers. Making it harder to access the cards provides another level of resistance against reckless spending, giving you greater strength to save and invest.
Buying replacements and upgrades keeps consumers spending. But what if you learned to live with the things you already own? Squeezing extra life from your car, enduring an undersized house, and wearing last year’s fashions can all help you save money, without significant sacrifices.
It is thought as many as three-quarters of Britons have an overdraft and many slip in to the red each month. Savings suffer as a result, leaving many residents with inadequate funding for the future. If your savings lag and it’s time to do something about it, start by changing your habits. The money you save correcting reckless spending can be invested instead, boosting your personal savings.