Marina Vassilopoulos writes on behalf of Southern Finance
With price increases worldwide, saving money is increasingly becoming a challenge – but it is one of the most essential life lessons you can learn. No matter how little you manage to put into the bank each month, the sooner you start saving, the better you will end up. Whether you need extra money to purchase your dream car, house or vacation – you need to learn how to save money first!
Luckily, saving money is often easier than you think. Putting a small amount of money away each week, depositing cash into savings accounts or investing are all great ways of turning a little bit of money into a lot of money. However, there are also, easier ways to save – such as cutting down on your non-essential costs or learning how to shop in savvy ways.
To help, the team at Southern Finance have put together a guide on how you can start saving money today, offering simple tips that can help you to change your financial situation. While not guaranteed, we hope our advice can help!
Set A Budget
One of the best reasons to set a budget (or a saving amount, regardless of how small the figure is) is that it allows you to take a goal-orientated approach. This can be encouraging, especially if you utilise features that allow you to visualise your progress. These features can often be found in banking apps and other finance-related services, accompanied by items such as expense tracking. You can even set up automatic saving each month, with a certain figure taken from your bank account and added to a savings account – meaning you don’t even have to think about it.
In addition, setting a budget is a great way to future-proof your finances. This means that in the event of any emergencies, such as your car being written off, you have money stored to cover these situations, instead of dipping into your ‘current’ finances. This allows you to save up and or reduce any debts, allowing you to achieve any financial objectives.
Just remember to be realistic with your goals. With items such as rent, phone bills and other expenses due, it is often near impossible to save 50% of your income each month. Instead, set an achievable figure, and start small – learning how to budget is the first part of the process!
Avoid Unnecessary Purchases
It can be tempting to spend your money without thinking ahead in terms of your financial situation. With new products, such as Playstations and other technology coming out, you might be tempted to purchase these as soon as possible. Regular outgoings, such as meeting friends for dinner, or going out every weekend can also add up swiftly – so you might want to consider swapping these costs for cheaper alternatives. Just changing your routine from going out for dinner twice a week to once a week could allow you to save that money. Alternatively, consider only going out drinking one night on the weekend – reducing your time out of the house is a great way to slash outgoings!
Unfortunately, these items are not essential. While fun, you should try to prioritise essential purchases: which include items such as food, medication and your home’s utilities. An easy way of doing this is deleting any shopping applications from your phone or trying to borrow friends’ software and games when applicable. By learning to control frivolous spending, you can easily get on top of your finances.
Alternatively, you can purchase goods and services using third-party financial services, such as Klarna or Clearpay. These allow you to pay for the items you want without having to pay the upfront cost – instead, these are broken down into smaller, more manageable figures. Just remember – these need to be paid off on time, or you could find yourself falling into debt, with interest added on to your late payments.
If you are trying to save money, sale periods will always be your best friend. Big days in the shopping calendar, such as Cyber Monday and Black Friday are a great way to get the same, high-quality product at a much lower rate. In addition, many shops will regularly hold sales – you just need to learn when these are held, and how often.
But it is not only direct sales that can help you to save money. You can install various applications that will help you find relevant discount codes, or utilise any pre-existing benefits. These might range from students receiving student cards, workers receiving benefits in their roles or different, relevant services. Try using a search engine to see if you are eligible!
Remember, in 95% of cases, there is always a way to save a little bit extra – you can even utilise Google’s ‘shopping’ feature to price compare items, often finding the same product for a much lower cost. When doing so, just be wary of delivery prices – some retailers will sell items and then recoup the costs by hiking these.
If your highest outgoings relate to food costs, consider swapping to a cheaper supermarket. You can often get the same quality of food for a much lower cost just by changing where you regularly shop or start taking into account the cost per kilogram. You can even visit wholesale stores, such as Costco, and begin shopping in bulk for much lower costs.
In most cases, saving money is more about your mindset and your approach to money than it is about your financial figures. For some, we recognise that it can be much more difficult to save – this piece is reflective of those who are in a comfortable financial position and looking to save extra money each month.
While saving money can be a challenge, it is always worth it, as achieving or reaching your financial goals can vastly improve your life.
Southern Finance is a highly reputable provider of straightforward and flexible short-term loans.