Many things eat up our money daily – phone bills, car insurance renewals, and calling out the plumber when the boiler goes bust. Unexpected expenses, twinned with daily spending can sometimes lead to a state of panic and a feeling that there’s no other way out but to borrow from the bank – or your mum.
However, if you create a budget and document your spending, you can be prepared for life’s unexpected hurdles. Here are five tips to keep you motivated to stay on the savings wagon.
Focus on savings
Recognize how much of your income you can save each month and have it debited into your savings account on pay-day. This way, there will be little to no temptation to spend as it won’t be in the account you use regularly for long. Even if the amount you save differs each month, consistently putting money away will soon add up to a considerable amount of money.
Those who find it more difficult to avoid temptation than others, leave the card connected to your savings account at home – you’ll find it pretty difficult to dip into it on an impulse shopping spree if it’s not even in your purse.
Cut bad habits
We all like to indulge in a glass or 2 of wine on the weekends, but try cutting out alcohol consumption during the week or smoking altogether and you’ll soon start saving the pennies. Start putting your beer and cigarette money into a jar and put it towards your savings at the end of each month – when you see how much you’ve saved, you’ll have more motivation to keep bad habits at bay.
Stay away from plastic
Take your card to an ATM at the beginning of each week, take out enough cash to last you to Sunday, and then leave your plastic at home for seven days. If you decide to use only cash for the things you can live without each week, you’ll be less tempted to buy those £60 heels – nobody likes seeing a wad of cash goes down.
You’re not going to save very much if your partner and family are spending the pennies left, right, and center. Sit everyone down and decide on a family budget that everyone can work to – your goals will be much more realistic if everyone cuts down a little, rather than one person completely cutting back
Track your spending
It may be worth having a look at your accounts and trying to locate areas of spend that can be omitted. Think about ways that reduce costs such as only calling friends and loved ones free after a certain time, or cutting down on the number of text messages you send.