Finance Friday–How to save money
We all would like to save more money, but find it difficult. We often see something as essential when they’re really luxuries. Housing is an essential, but are we spending more than we need to on it?
Certainly people spend more on food than they need to, because huge amounts gets wasted.
In order to get your finances in order and to have money left over at the end of the month, look at essentials first. Can you cut housing costs? Can you spend less on food. Maybe that is something as simple as making your own coffee or taking a sandwich to work instead of buying one. For me it was getting in the habit of taking drinks with me so I didn’t buy drinks when I was out. I don’t buy food when I’m out either. If I’m going to be out for some time I take food with me.
Keeping up with the Jones and showing off costs people money. Changing the car before you actually need to or being overly fashion conscious, will cost you money. We’re all a little insecure and so like to impress others and feel ‘important’. We don’t like to feel inferior in any way and so try to at least dress as good as the next person. Feelings of inferiority can have an impact on our spending and on our wealth.
Addictions can seriously damage our wallets too. We can get addicted to anything that zaps the reward centres of the brain. That can be tobacco products, alcohol, gambling, shopping or even food. Try to identify and recognise your addiction and replace it with something that is less expensive or even free.
Try not to compare yourself to your neighbours, your colleagues or your friends. Think about people living in muds huts in developing countries, they don’t have enough food or even clean water. You’re richer than they are, so be grateful for what you have.
When you are saving a little money, try to make your savings work and earn interest or invest your money for a return. That could be buying seeds and investing it in growing you own vegetables. I’m growing runner beans, tomatoes and potatoes so I’ll have new potatoes on my Christmas dinner. I also lend money through Zopa and they have an offer now where you can get £50 for joining. You can save with Zopa or borrow for a major purchase. Think before you borrow money, don’t pay interest unless you have to. Borrowing money to buy a home, is good. You can’t save for 30 years to buy a home, you need a place to live now. The same might apply to buying a vehicle that you needed to get to work or for your business. Buying a wide screen television isn’t such a necessity.
What do you think? Do you find it easy to save or are you constantly tempted by luxuries? Share your thoughts in the comments box, it’s free! You can also follow me on Twitter.