We all want to save more money, but actually getting into the habit of spending less is easier said than done. Even if you start off with the best of intentions, life can quickly get in the way, and you suddenly find your extra cash slipping through the cracks. The good news is that no-one is a lost cause, no matter how many times you’ve tried to improve your financial health and failed.
Here, we’re going to take a look at how you can transform your money habits and get better at “frugal” spending. The good news? You don’t necessarily have to give up having fun to be successful!
Look for Small Wins
When you are trying to improve your saving and spending habits, it is tempting to set huge goals for yourself. You might want to save up enough for a house deposit by the end of the year, or you may want to find the cash to put towards a family holiday. When you’ve got ambitious goals like that, it’s easy to look at a £5 saving and think very little of it. However, while that small amount of cash might not seem very exciting at first, every little bit goes towards achieving your goals.
When you discount your little wins, it becomes easier to convince yourself that you might as well spend the extra money you’re saving because “it isn’t that much anyway.” That’s how you end up falling out of your good saving habits and into bad ones again. Instead of looking at how small a £1 saving is, remind yourself that you’re saving something. If it helps, set a small target to save around £10 a week, to begin with, and reward yourself every time you do with a gold star or a tick on your calendar.
Once you start to gain some momentum with your saving efforts, you can take a look at your budget and search for other opportunities to save. Maybe you can cut down a little on the amount of times you eat out at work by taking a packed lunch into the office instead. Perhaps you can reduce the amount you spend on trips to the bar with your friends.
The critical thing to remember is that you shouldn’t try to eliminate all the fun stuff from your budget at once. Deciding that you can no longer do the things you enjoy is not a good way to start your budgeting efforts. The more miserable budgeting backs you, the less likely you are to stick to it.
Stop Paying Over the Odds
Rather than merely cutting things out of your budget, why not look for things that you are overpaying for in your monthly expenses. For instance, plenty of people pay far too much for their car insurance, simply because they stay with the same provider year after year, without ever checking whether they might be able to get a better deal elsewhere. This is the same for other monthly bills such as a home energy bill, many homeowners stay with their first provider and don’t bother to look around to see if another energy provider such as Hello Energy and many others could have a cheaper plan available.
Look at comparison websites to find out if you can get a better price on your car insurance, energy bills or any other monthly fees you pay to bring down the cost of those “must have” expenses on your budget.
Also Read: 7 Easy Ways to Make Money Online
Set Up Automatic Transfers
Breaking bad habits and replacing them with good ones is tough. A great way to make the process easier with your spending is to take some of the weight off your shoulders. Go into your bank account and take a look at all the fees you pay for every month without fail. The chances are that you can set some of them up as direct debits, so you don’t have to think about them anymore.
Not only will this make managing your money easier, but it also ensures that you definitely pay your bills on time every month, so you won’t have to pay any late fees.
Question all of your Purchases
Finally, try to get into the habit of questioning your purchases if you want to save money. A lot of people end up becoming mindless consumers in this fast-paced environment – paying for subscriptions they don’t use and picking up extra items at the checkout counter. Instead of becoming one of these people, make sure that you think carefully about every purchase you make – even if it’s just to figure out whether you might be able to get a cheaper deal elsewhere.
The point isn’t to tell yourself that you can’t have things, it’s to stop yourself from merely buying without a second thought.