If you’re on a budget, it can be hard to find money for those emergency purchases we all need to make from time to time. We all know the disillusionment we feel when we find that the washing machine is broken, the car breaks and needs repair. When things need replacing, it can sometimes feel overwhelming. However, with a little planning, you can breathe easy when you need to spend cash. Here is a guide on how to save money for a rainy day, even if you are on a budget.
List Your Expenses
Making a list of all your regular expenses will help you keep track of what needs to be paid every month, quarter or year. Once you have your total figure and know exactly where your money is going, it will help you to be in control of your spending. If you find out, for example, you spend money unnecessarily, such as buying lunch when you could make it at home, you can make the changes you need to save money where you can. All these small amounts add up over time, so it makes sense to save money where you can and improve the overall health of your bank balance.
Save Small Amounts Regularly
By saving small amounts when you do have funds available is a great way to build up a pool of money that can be used for a rainy day. In fact, some banks offer a ‘rainy day fund’ where you can set up automatic small deposits that are saved for when you need them. That way you won’t forget to add the deposit yourself, and your savings will grow.
Get Items Serviced
You might think you are wasting money on getting your car, or household item serviced if there is nothing wrong with it, but by keeping things in good working condition, they are less likely to break. Although it might never seem like a convenient time to spend money on something that is technically working ok, it is worth doing so to save you money on larger repair bills or prevents you from having to replace an item.
Rather than buying something brand new, consider going to a reliable dealer for a quality used item. Refurbished or ex-display electrical goods can often be just as good quality and long-lasting as new, provided it comes with all the appropriate certification. This can save you money on larger purchases that you can then use to top us your savings.
Sometimes we all need a little help, especially if you need to replace something that you and your family rely on. There’s only so many times you can rely on someone else to use their washing machine, or get a lift to work. Often, there’s no other choice but to replace something quickly. This is when it might be beneficial to purchase a household item on a payment plan, where the cost is spread over an agreed amount of time. This makes the overall cost manageable as it is split into smaller payments. Another option would be to take out a credit card, such as offered by Bonsai Finance. If you want to save money though, don’t see it as an invitation to spend but as an opportunity to help you in those ‘rainy day’ times.
Is your mobile phone bill draining your cash every month, or your insurance renewal more than you expected? You can change that by shopping around for the best deal. This could save your hundreds of dollars over a year, helping you to save the extra money. There are other household services, such as insurances and energy providers that you could shop to get the best deal. Doing your research is certainly part of the process of saving large amounts of money. Although it may seem tedious at the time, it can actually be incredibly worth it in the long run as you may realize you haven’t been getting the best deal for quite some time.
Lower Energy Costs
One simple way to save money for a rainy day is to be more aware of how much energy you are using in your home. This is a great way to lower your budget. If your heating is on all the time, you are wasting money. Consider putting on a timer where it comes on for an hour or so when you need it, or only heat the rooms that are being used. Also, turning your heating down by just one degree will help you save money over a year. Improving your home’s insulation will also reduce your energy bills, so it is worth replacing old windows and loft insulation if you have the funds to do so. There are some great tips on how to lower your electricity bills during Winter too, perfect for when you are trying to average your bills over the year.
Lower your Grocery Bill
There are a few ways you can save money on your grocery bill, helping you to put more aside in your savings. Make a shopping list and stick to it, so you buy only the things you need and are not tempted by those offers on the shelves. Try cheaper brands. They are often just as good, or sometimes better than the other brands. If you make a meal and have leftovers, freeze them to give you another meal.
Have a Loose Change Jar
Having a large jar where members of your household can put their loose change is a good way to collectively save for a rainy day. It is surprising how quickly small denominations of coins can add up. Sometimes, a quick dip in the loose change jar will be enough to get you some emergency groceries at a local store if you don’t have time to go to the supermarket, or it could pay for a week’s worth of school meals.
Once you start getting used to saving money when you can, it becomes a fun activity. You soon begin to see the areas where you shave off a little expense, and it makes you feel good when you see the results. Keep saving little and often, making changes where you can, and soon you will have some money set aside for those rainy days.