Saving money does not have to be difficult to begin. Perhaps you have never thought about saving before and you are wondering where to begin. If you are thinking about beginning to make savings then you do not have to be confused or concerned as to where to start, it really is quite straight forward. The ability to save money is an important skill and mind-set to have. Putting money aside is important as it helps you to be organised, plan for the future and manage your finances in a sensible manner. Below are some tips on how to start making savings.
* What for?
What is it that you would like to save for? Do you have a particular goal in mind such as a holiday or a deposit for a house? Maybe you don’t have anything specific in mind and that is fine too. What is good to do, however, is to think about what you would like to save towards and this will then help you to have the desire, drive and motivation to begin your savings.
Before you begin making any savings think about your budget. A budget basically helps you to manage your money by looking at what you have coming into your house and what goes out. If you write it all down you will be able to see where you spend most money. A budget can then be drawn up where you work out how much money you can afford to spend on various things, for example you may set aside a set amount of groceries, a set amount for socialising and so forth. Once you have a budget, you will see how much left over money you have, if you do not have anything left over then you need to look at where you can make cut backs. The most important part of a budget is sticking to it. You must make sure you don’t go over the limits, or else your budget will fail, you won’t be able to save and you will struggle to get back on track.
* Cut back.
When you look at your budget, is there somewhere where you can cut back? Maybe you could eat out less often or to switch from driving to walking where possible. There are often ways in which you can cut back which you may not even be aware of until you see them written in front of you. Take the money you are saving on cutting back and put them aside as savings.
* Money jar.
A money jar is a very simple way to save. Every time you have some spare change or if you make a saving whilst shopping put what you have saved in the jar. If a friend rings you up and invites you out for a drink which you would ordinarily take them up on but you decline to save money, put some money in the jar. A money jar is a good way of saving little bits of money which can soon add up. What’s good is that you can access it right away so you can count it at the end of each month and be inspired by your achievements.
* Savings accounts.
There are many savings accounts that banks and building societies offer. What you need to do is look at the small print to see which account is best for you, some will offer higher levels of interest but there may be a penalty if you withdraw money so make sure you are aware of what you are signing up for. Compare different banks to see which is the best for you and make sure you stick to the terms and conditions so you can benefit from interest.
* Regular payments.
Set up a regular payment into your bank account. This will make sure that you don’t miss any payments and it is always helpful if it goes straight into your bank once you get paid so you are not tempted to spend it. It can be extremely rewarding at the end of the year when you see what you have saved and the interest you have earned.
* Shop around.
Take some time to look at your household accounts and see if you can switch providers of your outgoings such as energy suppliers or Internet provider. Maybe you can save money just by swapping service provider. Also shop around when buying products too, shops can be very competitive on prices and you may find that by spending some time comparing that you are able to make savings.
When cooking you can save money. It can be very easy to just buy in a take away or to buy ready made meals but actually these can cost a lot more. If you buy fresh food to cook with you may think the ingredients cost more but you can make a variety of items from them and store them in the freezer for a later date. Plan your meals ahead so you can see what ingredients you can buy each week and how they can be used in a variety of dishes so that you get the most out of them. For example, use chicken to have a Sunday roast and then use left overs to make a soup or a chicken stock.
Spend time looking back at your savings and how you have made achievements. Remember what it is that you are saving towards so that it helps to spur you on and encourage you to make more savings.
Saving does not have to be difficult to begin. You just need to be focused, organised and aware of what your finances are.