Saving money is always a good thing. The more money you have in savings, the more you can do overall, whether that’s buying something special, paying off debts, or being ready for an emergency should one come up.
Yet saving can be problematic sometimes; there always seems to be a reason – perhaps we might go as far as to say an excuse – as to why you can’t save as much as you did last year, or anything at all.
One of the best ways to encourage yourself to save money is to challenge yourself to save more than you did the year before. So whatever total you might have had at the end of the year, you can use that as motivation to do better this year.
If you think that sounds impossible, don’t worry; there are many ways you can do this, even if it seems like a step too far. Read on for some great ideas.
Have A Goal In Mind
One of the reasons that saving can be so difficult is that you don’t have any specific reason to do it. In other words, because you’re not saving up for something in particular, it’s hard to motivate yourself to save at all, let alone put more aside than you did last year.
Therefore, to encourage yourself and possibly other family members too, if you all put your money into one savings pot, you need to have a goal in mind to motivate yourself to save more. Many people save up for vacations, so that is an ideal one to pick. You can even enjoy some time going through all the options so you know exactly how much your dream vacation would cost.
Others want to save up for a down payment on a property, and again, this is perfect; look through the various property listings online and make a shortlist of properties you like the look of. Although the owners may well sell them before you have saved enough money, they can still be highly motivating.
You might even just want to treat yourself to something you’ve always wanted. If you love your car and like the idea of a personalized number plate, why not search out private number plates for sale? Once you find the one that’s going to suit you and your vehicle best, you can start actively saving for it.
Whatever it is you want, keep it in mind every time you’re about to spend out on something else, and try to put the money into savings instead.
Raise Your Direct Payments
To make saving easier and something that doesn’t even have to be thought about, it’s a good idea to set up a direct deposit plan so that as soon as you are paid, some of that money goes straight into a savings account. You will have put away a reasonable amount of money at the end of a year, depending on how much you allocate to this endeavor each month.
A straightforward way to save more money this year than you did last year is to raise this direct payment. Even raising it by just one dollar means that you’ll effectively have more this year than last year in your savings account, so imagine what would happen if you raised it by 20 dollars, 50 dollars, or even one hundred dollars.
By increasing the amount in small increments, you will barely even notice that it’s no longer in your account, but when you come to use your savings for whatever it was you had your mind set on, you’ll see there is plenty there – certainly more than last year.
Reduce Extra Costs
We’ve already looked at how you can raise the amount of money you’re saving each month by a little, but there might be a way that you can increase it by much more. Take a look at your spending, and you’ll probably notice quite a bit of waste.
Some will be absolutely essential, like your gas and electric bills, your rent or mortgage, and any debt payments. Some will be much less essential, and these are the ones to focus on.
Look at each outgoing in turn and see whether it’s for something you actively use or whether you can cancel the payment and not feel any adverse effects. This might be something like a cable channel or streaming service you no longer want or a subscription you can cancel.
Whatever you reduce, make sure the money you would have spent on it goes into your savings instead.
It’s also worth looking at your grocery bill. After your housing costs, this can be the largest payment you make each month, so it’s also where you can make some significant savings. If you throw any food away before your next weekly or monthly grocery shop, you have wasted money, so the best thing you can do is make a meal plan not just for dinner but also for all the meals you intend to eat.
This way, you’ll only buy what you need, and you should save plenty of money, all of which can go into your savings pot and help you save more this year than last. To make your grocery shopping even cheaper, stop buying brand names and purchase generic supermarket brands instead.
They are usually of the same quality (it can be very hard to tell them apart), but much cheaper.
Unsubscribe From Emails
You might be wondering how unsubscribing – when possible – from emails can help you save more money, but it makes perfect sense when you think about it. These emails are, after all, advertising. Even the most generic emails will want you to spend money in some way at some point.
By unsubscribing from as many as you can, you won’t be so tempted, and if you’re not spending as much, then you can save more. If you’re curious to find out about what various companies are doing but you’re worried you might be tempted by sales emails, just make a schedule where you can check out their sites over the course of a month.
This way, you’ll never be out of the loop, but you won’t feel quite so pressured into spending money either.