No matter where you might be in your financial journey, it’s always possible to learn how to be better with your money. Whether you’re starting out with your first job and you’re putting money away in a savings account for the future, or you’re planning for retirement, we’ve all got goals in mind for the cash that we earn. Fortunately, there are lots of things that you can do to make sure that you’re set up for success with your cash.
Sometimes, all it takes to transform your relationship with money is one step in the right direction. For some people, it will be the decision to start using and managing a budget. For others, the decision to use envelopes of cash could change everything.
Here are some quick ways that you could start saving more money, pronto.
Stop Automatically Renewing
Automations make life easier more often than not. Being able to pay for your bills using direct debits that you set up through your bank will mean that you’re less likely to spend a fortune on things like late fees and overdrafts. However, that doesn’t mean that you should be automatically paying for everything.
Many companies, including the ones that provide your gas, electricity, and insurance, will assume that you automatically want to renew your service for another year if you don’t’ cancel when your subscription is about to run out. While allowing that renewal to happen can be a convenient option, it also means that you might not be getting the best deal. Take some time to look around for better offers before you allow yourself to renew.
Start Planning Purchases Carefully
Saving more money doesn’t have to mean that you stop buying things altogether. Instead, it might just mean that you need to be more careful about how and why you choose to spend your money. For instance, if you’re planning on buying a new car, then you could either choose to use your emergency savings on a cheap runaround that will get you from A to B, or you might decide to look into a car finance loan that will allow you to get a more reliable and efficient car.
While the loan option means that you’ll be spending more on your vehicle, it could also mean that you’re getting more out of your investment into the long term. Measure the pros and cons of every purchasing option you have when it comes to buying big items.
Make Lists for Everything
The chances are that you already know how valuable a list can be when you’re going shopping for food and other essentials at the supermarket. With a list, you’re less likely to over-spend on things that you already have or don’t need at home. You can even go through all of your cupboards before you leave to go shopping to make sure that you’re not buying doubles of everything.
However, there are other places where making a list can be helpful too. For instance, the next time you’re planning on shopping at a store’s sale, consider making a list for all the items that you most want to buy. This way, you can search for only the products that you would have purchased without the discount and avoid spending on frivolous extras.
Be Ready to Evolve
Finally, remember that even if you have a budget that works for you right now, that doesn’t mean you should expect the same strategy to continue working forever. Sometimes you’ll need to upgrade and adjust your spending habits to suit a change in your income or make sure you can afford a new bill that you haven’t had up until now. Once every couple of months, sit down with your budget and a stack of statements from your bank and be prepared to make any changes that might be necessary to make your life more affordable in the months to come.
Sometimes, you might even find that you’re going to end up with more money than usual, because you can cut a service out of your life, or you can start to earn more money from an extra source of income. This will also mean that you need to update your budget again so you can decide how you’re going to make the most out of the extra cash that you’ve got to play with. Putting some more funds into your emergency savings account could be an ideal first step for instance.