We’ve all been there. After living in a short-lived ignorant bliss, you decide to check your latest bank statement. Despite the X amount of money you were convinced you had, it’s somehow dramatically depleted, and now you’re feeling poor and a little confused. It’s the constant query about ‘just where did that money go?’
Although I can’t answer where it went, there are a few handy hints I can reveal about how to stop wanting the ground to swallow you up at every visit to an ATM… and some are a lot simpler than you may think.
Ensure that you’ve got the best insurance
Insurance is undoubtedly important in the modern world. You can insure everything from your home to your car to even your hamster… but when do you know when to stop? And how do you know if it’s the best deal for you? With so many websites and apps out there offering to find a way to save money on your insurance, it’s hard to know who to trust.
Insurance, like your car insurance, can really take a bite out of your budget. Why not find ways to make money with your car instead, like this blog post from the Do Six Figures blog recommends.
Communication is key when finding the best way to save your money. By having an actual conversation, rather than an algorithm or robot doing all of the work, you know that the quote given will be individualized to you and your needs, rather than the needs of many. Cut out the cost of the middle person and let yourself and a physical person do the talking.
Don’t shop until you drop
This may sound obvious, but the amount you can save when doing your weekly shop is incredible. Humans are creatures that crave routine, so why bother going to a supermarket that is further away with different aisles? Why change the time of day that you usually go? Well, the answer to both of these questions is to save money.
At different times of the year, different supermarkets will have better offers. If you usually buy copious amounts of one brand for $3 and the supermarket down the road has it on sale for $1, surely it makes sense to make a visit? Furthermore, with websites now available to let you know where the cheapest place for your weekly shop is, it’s easier than ever to save a few quid each week. It’ll add up in no time!
There are plenty more tricks to help you save up your pennies when shopping too. From choosing to online shop so you only pick the essentials, to not shopping when you’re hungry as you might spend more, you’ll be sure to not let out such a big sigh next time you get the total.
Make the most of the internet
The internet, though it has its downfalls, is also amazing when it comes to looking up deals. With so many websites competing to give you the best deals, prices have come rocketing down for activities that were thought of as luxuries before, such as spa days and nights away. If you really want to cut big costs, such as holidays abroad, you’re now given the option to not do it in such a dramatic way.
Save money on a birthday present for your friend or your significant other by getting them an experience, rather than a materialistic good. Just because you’re cutting costs, it doesn’t mean that you should miss out on some of the good things in life. When you can have a pamper session with a loved one for the same price as going to the cinema with these offers, a whole range of new, and affordable, experiences await.
Budget budget budget
Budget, the B-word that can reduce even the savviest of savers to tears. It’s one of the phenomenons out there that we all know exist, and we all know we should do, but many of us choose to avoid the awkward raking through old bank statements and getting out the calculator. However, unfortunately for the time-starved amongst us, it’s also a vital component of becoming a true money saver.
All this said budgeting doesn’t have to be scary. It takes a lot of realism, the occasional brutal truth, and a stubborn mindset to work out and stick to, but once you begin, you’ll wonder how you survived without it. The internet has come to our rescue again with many websites allowing you to input a few details and then do the dirty work for you.
All you need to do is collect as many of your recent bills, bank statements, and payslips as you can find and input them into the system. Within moments you’ll have a personalized budget, especially for you. An added bonus is, when you have a look through all of the receipts and statements, you might be able to pinpoint a problem yourself. Maybe you’re spending too much on your weekly shop, or you’re spending a small fortune on meals out.
Whatever the outcome, looking for the problem, and then budgeting to combat it, will help you in the long term.
Get, or become, a travel buddy
Traveling can end up feeling like it costs the earth. Commuting to and from work can eat away at your gas – blink, and your tank is as empty as your bank balance. The same goes for if you’re using public transport. The odd bus ride here and there can end up adding up and creating a frightening number at the end of each month.
If you and a work colleague live near and both drive, or even if they usually get public transport, why not broach the subject? Split the cost of your gas to and from work, and you both get a good deal (and they won’t have to deal with the brutality of the British weather as much). If you both drive then why not suggest taking turns when it comes to driving each other?
One week you can drive, the next they can, and the cost of your fuel will be halved. Saving money on gas and a week off from driving at rush hour can only be a good deal. You might even get a new friend from it and be able to split your savings between a bottle of wine and a couple of cocktails… or you could continue to save.
The options are endless when you’ve got a few more pound coins in your pocket!