“Don’t save what is left after spending, but spend what is left after saving.”
– Warren Buffet
Saving money isn’t easy. I know this from experience. Two years ago, I quit a good job to start my own business. The consequence of this was that myself and my family no longer had the securities we once had. We were no longer well-off. In fact, we had very little money.
Do I regret the decision? Not at all. I’m very happy, as is my family. We won’t have a lot of money for a while yet, but over the long-term the security that I can create with this business will be well worth it.
Two of the biggest things I had to learn after making the transition from secure job to owning my own business was living on a budget and saving money. This is something I had never done before, and neither had my family. All of a sudden, we had to be very careful about what we spent. I made mistakes along the way, but I learned from them. And I can safely say that I now know the art of saving money inside out. So let’s take a look at 10 effective money saving tips you need to know about.
Always Buy Online
You could be forgiven for thinking that shopping online is counterproductive, and that you would easily end up over-spending. After all, you’re faced with an abundance of choice. Moreover, you can buy anything with just a few clicks.
But when you buy online, you get to compare prices. And for money savers, this is essential. As you scan the products on the screen, you can easily see which ones are available for the cheapest price. You can also check your basket before buying, which means that you can remove items to keep costs down.
Ask Friends And Family
Need a new microwave or fridge? Maybe you could do with a new pair of jeans? Or perhaps you need a few light bulbs?
Your first idea is to probably head to the shops and make a few purchases. Naturally. It’s what you’ve always done. But how about asking friends and family if they have the items you need?
When my family and I first had to start saving money, we thought it would make more sense to eat lots of TV dinners. Surely that would be cheaper than buying lots of ingredients and cooking fresh meals from scratch each night?
While some TV dinners are dirt cheap, they’re the kind which are really unhealthy. The “decent” TV dinners, meanwhile, are actually really expensive. And stocking up on them each week will cost you an arm and a leg.
It’s much easier to buy lots of fresh produce each week. Remember that so many ingredients can be used in a few different dishes. For example, a box of eggs stretches a long way, as does garlic, spinach, onions, peppers and so on!
Sleep On It
There are two types of shoppers:
- Logical shoppers
- Emotional shoppers
If you’re an emotional shopper, you’re more inclined to impulse buying. This means you see something that catches your eye, and instead of reasoning that you probably shouldn’t buy it, you go ahead and purchase it anyway.
And then usually regret it a few hours later.
When trying to save, it’s a good idea to always wait a day before making a big purchase. Sleep on things to see how you feel in the morning. The chances are that you’ll wake up happy that you didn’t splash out yesterday.
Pay Your Bills
You’re trying to save money, so you’re probably looking for ways of making cutbacks. Maybe not paying your bills this month is the way to go?
Nope! As tempting as it is, skipping your bills is only going to cause hassle in the long-run. Always pay them on time.
It’s nigh on impossible to save if you’re literally spending nothing on treats. You’ll become miserable and resentful, and eventually you’ll start splashing the cash again.
For this reason, it’s a good idea to treat yourself every now and then. After a month or two of solid saving, reward yourself with a small present that makes you feel good. This sort of motivation is important if you’re going to stringently stick to your saving goals.
Stop Caring About What Other People Think
One thing I noticed when I first started living on a budget and making serious efforts to save money was that I was obsessed with what other’s were thinking about me. I wanted to go out with the girls and stick to the cheapest drink possible (water!), but I couldn’t do it. I was so scared that they would judge me.
I quickly realised, though, that I had to stop caring what other people thought of me. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t have saved anything. So I started ordering the cheapest drinks in bars. I began ordering small dishes at restaurant and I stopped going out shopping with my friends altogether.
And you know what? They totally supported me, because that’s what friends do.
Do It Yourself
Before you ask that window cleaner across the street if he can clean your panes, consider doing the task yourself first. Likewise, what’s stopping you from mowing your own lawn or researching how to fix a leaky faucet?
Always Use Cash
Another one of good money saving tips is to always use cash. Credit cards might seem like a good idea at the time because you’re not parting with any physical cash, which means that you’re able to put some money aside. In the long run, however, credit cards are going to avenge you for all that spending.
It’s much better to just use cash to make your purchases. When you buy with cash, your subconscious is stung more because it can see the money you’re losing. As such, you’re less likely to overspend.
Get Store Cards
I was always one of those people who constantly turned down store cards because I couldn’t be bothered with the hassle of filling in a form. Moreover, I didn’t think it would save me much money.
Store cards can save you a small fortune in the long term and make a lot of sense.