Money is a significant source of worry for many of us. Some of us have huge debts that we need to deal with that started building when we went to university. Other people simply struggle to make ends meet each month because they’re earning a low wage and have a lot of bills to deal with. Whatever your issues with money, it’s time to overcome them, once and for all. Especially when you have a little family to look after, it’s important to save money where you can.
More often than not, the biggest issues we have with money are easier to overcome than we think. Usually, all you need to do to deal with your spending issues, is create a strategy for how you’re going to spend. Here are a few quick tips you can use to ensure that you’re saving money every time you spend.
1. Figure out your problem areas
The chances are that there are areas where you’re more likely to over-spend in your routine. For instance, you might be fine when it comes to saving cash on things like car insurance and petrol payments, but you’re terrible at overcoming the urge to binge-spend whenever you spot a sale online. If you know what kind of things are more likely to trigger your spending impulses, you’ll be able to reduce your exposure to them or come up with strategies to manage your urges.
For instance, if you know that you always overspend on food shopping, take a list with you when you go to the supermarket, and only enough money to pay for what you want.
2. Compare the prices of everything
Why settle for one price when you can get the same item for cheaper elsewhere? These days, you don’t need to walk or drive to a bunch of different shops to make sure that you get the best deal. Before you buy something, simply do a quick search online to see if you’re getting the right offer. You can use this strategy whether you’re buying laundry detergent, a new computer, or even car insurance.
Remember to regularly compare the prices of the services that you subscribe to, as well. For instance, you might be able to save a fortune by switching to a different broadband provider after a couple of years. Even phoning one of your providers and telling them that you’re thinking of switching can lead to a better deal.
3. Reduce Your Risk of Impulse Buying
If you know that you’re an impulse buying junkie, then the best thing you can do is put a strategy in place to stop you from buying things that you haven’t planned for in advance. Rather than taking your credit or debit card with you everywhere you go, take only the cash that you know you’re going to need. That way, if you see something you want, you’ll have to go home to retrieve more cash. This gives you time to think about your purchase.
You’ll need to unsubscribe from things like Google and Apple Pay to take advantage of this strategy too. It might be a headache at first, but it will mean that you’re less likely to be seduced by savvy marketing.
4. Don’t Be Tricked by Sales
You don’t have to buy something every time your favourite store has a sale – no matter how tempting it is. Whenever you see that a shop you love is having a sale, ask yourself whether you really need something from that location. If you do, then make a list of the items that you need and go in with the plan to only buy those things, so you don’t get side-tracked.
If you don’t need anything, and you haven’t budgeted money aside for the items that you might “want” from the sale, then ignore the shop completely. You won’t be tempted to buy if you don’t see the sale prices.
5. Use Technology
Finally, don’t forget to make the most of technology whenever you can. In today’s digital world, your computer or smartphone can help you to save money. For instance, you can visit one of the internets many discount code websites (Groupon, RetailMeNot, Tripplo etc.) or download apps straight to your phone or browser that automatically check for voucher codes and coupons whenever you go through to the checkout page of a website. This will improve your chances of getting a better deal, without asking you to go searching online for discount codes.
You can also use tech to save yourself some cash by signing up for cashback reward websites and using them whenever you’re going to buy an item that you were going to purchase anyway. You might not make a fortune on cashback, but at least you’ll save money which is something.