Saving is one of the most powerful budget-friendly habits you can practise, especially from a young age. Whether it’s saving for a down payment for your first home, working to reduce existing debt or putting aside funds for a rainy day – consistently saving money gets you closer to your financial goals. To help you get on track with positive saving practices, we’ve compiled 20 helpful tips below.
- Pay yourself first. Set up a standing order to automatically put aside a percentage of your pay cheque; 10% is a great amount to start with. Setting this aside first means you won’t be tempted to spend it.
- Have a separate account for your savings. Putting your savings into its own account keeps it separate from the account that you use to do transactions, so you won’t accidentally spend it. You can even talk to your bank about creating multiple savings accounts dedicated to specific goals (e.g. retirement, children’s education, emergency fund, etc.).
- Make a budget and stick to it as best as you can. Having a clear limit on how much you can spend per month on expenses like eating out, entertaining and shopping can keep you in check.
- Find additional sources of income by capitalising on your hobbies and skills (e.g. baking, babysitting, helping neighbours with odd jobs, etc.). Instead of spending your additional income, allocate it to your savings.
- Cut out unnecessary expenses. Always evaluate the necessity of an expense before spending your money. Do you really need an extra pair of shoes or to eat out as frequently? Practise cutting back and save the money instead.
- Reduce your bills by being more aware and diligent. For example, turn off the lights when it’s not being used, switch to energy-efficient light bulbs, pay your bills on time to avoid paying late fees, and in the dry season, hang your clothes outside to dry instead of using an electric dryer.
- Sort through your closets and cupboards and sell the items that you no longer want and need. You’d be surprised at how much money you had sitting around gathering dust.
- Make a shopping list before going to the grocery store and don’t stray from it. Stay focused and don’t pick up any items that you didn’t intend to buy.
- Start a home garden to grow your own herbs and veggies. You’ll have fresher ingredients and won’t feel like you’re throwing your money away when produce goes bad.
- Practice the 30-day rule: Wait 30 days before making any non-essential purchases to ensure you really want that item. If 30 days pass and you still want it, then buy it. Most times, with time, you may find that the urge to buy fades away.
- Go for quality items versus things that won’t last. E.g. investing in energy-efficient appliances up front make all the difference in the long run.
- Prepare and pack lunch from home rather than buying out.
- Find free events and activities for the family such as a picnic at the Savannah, a fun hike or an outing to the library.
- Maintain your car and home regularly so that things are less likely to break down. Maintenance costs are much more manageable and predictable than emergency costs.
- Brainstorm money-saving ideas with your friends and get them involved so you can have a support system and develop better habits together.
- Keep an eye out for discounts and sales to take advantage of great deals. Don’t pass up on discounts on non-perishable items even if you don’t presently need them – they can be stored for future use. Make sure you keep track of items that you have stocked up on because if you don’t, you might purchase more than you actually need.
- Live more simply and focus on reducing excess or clutter. You might be surprised how little you need to have a happy and fulfilled life.
- Shop local. Local or store brands are usually priced lower than imported ones. This way you help support the local economy, while saving yourself some cash!
- Create a savings game with goals to hit each month. Maybe you and your friends can have a contest to see who can save the most; the Master Saver
- Be patient and persistent. Having a positive attitude and a commitment to trying different things can get you very far! Even if you slip up and splurge occasionally, don’t be too hard on yourself otherwise you run the risk of abandoning your goals altogether.