Savings tips you should actually follow
Five Classic Saving Tips
Like cutting down on your chocolate intake, making it to the gym more than once a month and clearing out the spare room, saving is something many of us intend to do but never quite get around to. There are plenty of reasons why some people don’t set up that standing order, work out where savings can be made and make the necessary cutbacks. For many of us the commitment to save seems to bring with it a series of unattractive sacrifices and intangible rewards. Here are five classic savings tips designed to have minimum impact on your everyday life.
Take an interest in interest
There’s more to saving than simply denying yourself life’s little luxuries and hoarding the money you’ve held back for some future date. Saving is also about making your money work as hard as possible for your pocket. That’s why, although it may seem a daunting task, it’s vital to keep a close eye on your savings account's interest rates and be prepared to move your savings should a competitive rate become available. However, make sure you check the terms and conditions carefully to make sure the account meets your needs.
Cook your books
In the UK, over 10p in every £1 spent goes on food* - meaning that your kitchen represents a great opportunity for saving money. There’s no need to take the enjoyment out of food either, you can turn money saving into a game. Set yourself a budget, for example £5 for a family of four’s evening meal, and compete over the course of a week. Whoever can create the most delicious dinner and stay within budget wins!
Go for the record
The record in question here isn’t the type you break - it’s the type you make. This saving tip isn’t about changing your spending habits, just monitoring them. For a full month make a note of every penny you spend. Include all your outgoings whether they’re regular (utilities or rent), impulsive (a slice of cake with a friend or new shoes), or unexpected (punctured car tyre, leaking roof). This revealing task can be quite an eye opener but it will give you a clear overview of where your money is going, an excellent starting point for starting to save.
Relive your student days
The vast majority of people have at some point had to manage on a smaller income at some point. Look back at how you lived before your last pay increase, or while you were at college, and you may find budgeting inspiration. Perhaps you ate out less frequently, used public transport and repaired rather than replaced broken items. Apply the same approach today and you’ll be on your way to becoming a sensible saver.
Be a savvy buyer
One of the most effective ways to save is to learn how to spend cleverly. Each time you reach for your wallet or purse to make a purchase, ask yourself: Do I really need it and can I really afford it? If you can answer yes to either of these questions - go ahead and buy. If not, it’s time to walk away.
By making just a few changes you could reinvent yourself as a successful saver without trying too hard.
*Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs, Food Statistics Pocket Book 2014
This guide is intended as a summary only and does not constitute legal or financial advice given by Leeds Building Society. No reliance should be placed on this guide.