Spending money has become so easy, hello, contactless payments, that in actual fact, we can get to a certain point of the month and wonder where the money has gone. And with apps and websites being at our fingertips, literally with our phones, we can be lying in bed with our phone and be able to spend on various things quite quickly. When you spend little things here and there, then it may not seem to make a big dent in your bank balance, but in time, it can turn into a lot of money if you let it. What is worse is that many times, the things we spend on are things that are unavoidable. We can cut back on holidays, meals out, and new clothes, but things like bills, food, school uniforms, and so on, need to be paid for.
To that end, there has even been a study completed that found out that on average, people are spending 80% of their income each year and saving the rest. But 15% of what is being spent was found to be on nonessential items. And over a year, 15% of your income can be quite a lot. Not to worry, though, there are plenty of things that you can do to turn this kind of spending around, without having to get yourself a whole new job. So here are some savvy ways that you can cut costs and save money, starting today.
Check your bank statements
Out of sight, and out of mind, right? You might be surprised to hear just how many people don’t actually track their spending or check their bank statements. It doesn’t need to be done daily, but at least weekly on an app, or monthly when it comes through the post, is such a good idea. You might just want to avoid looking at the balance as it can be a little depressing, but that kind of attitude won’t help you to deal with the problems. If you keep track of your spending with your payments, you can spot where the issues are. Check what fees you are being charged, if any, as well as making sure that all direct debits are correct. Keep track and you’ll be able to spot any patterns, and quickly stop things if there is something on there that doesn’t look right.
Swiping a credit card really does make spending money really easy. In fact, with contactless payments and being able to use your phone to pay, the whole process is quick and easy, that you don’t even have to think about it. And that kind of mindless spending, where you forget what has or hasn’t been spent, can really add up and cost a lot of money. So you need to think of a way to counter this. Using cash and getting money out from the cash point can be a way to do that. Then, if you’ve got a budget of £50 for the food shop, you can take out £50 cash, and then that is all that you have to spend, so you can’t go over. It can be a good way to stick to your budget.
Teach Children Savvy Saving
If you have children, then make them a part of saving money, and help to teach them some skills to make sure that they learn it all for the future. This will help you all and can be a good way to save as a family. When children understand the value of money, then it is going to make them much more likely to not demand certain things or ask for endless items for their birthday, for example. The dream of teaching your children to be savvy with their savings could hopefully help them to be careful with their savings as time goes on. The hope of teaching your children is that one day when they head out by themselves, leaving home or off to University, they can be smart with money, and look for good deals, like the SMARTY student SIM, where they could even make money when they share the SIM with their friends. Start them young, though, get them to help with your groceries, adding up costs, and so on, and then you can go from there.
Use a budgeting app
There are apps for everything, but are you using one to help you to keep on top of your budgeting? Mint is one that is very well trusted and rated, and how it works is by connecting all of your bank accounts and being able to track your spending all in one place. It also helps you to track where you spend your money, as it will categorise the spending into groups. So if you find that you are spending a lot of money and eating out, then it will show you how much you’re spending, which will help you to cut back.
Pay off credit cards
You may not have any credit card debt, but if you do, you will know how much it can impact your monthly budget. It might not be possible all of the time, but if you are able to pay more off than just the minimum balance each month, then it can mean clearing your debt much sooner than if you just went for the minimum. Barclays have a payback calculator that shows what you owe back if you are with them, so that could help if you need it. Imagine how much income you will free up if you’re not paying off your debt each month.
Are there things in your finances that you can cut down on? Do you have more than one streaming service membership, like Amazon Prime and Netflix? Do you have more than one gym membership? All of this needs to be looked at, and then cut down, so that you can save money and stop spending unnecessarily. The key is to keep track of your finances, and then things that you don’t need to spend on will become much more likely.