Is saving money one of the goals that you always seem to set for yourself, but never quite achieve? These days, most of us know that if we want to be successful in life, we have to commit to regular saving. However, telling ourselves to manage our money more carefully, and achieving financial independence are two very different things.
Most of the time, making a significant difference to your financial situation is a process that takes consistent effort, and time. You can’t expect to go to sleep one night and wake up with your entire money situation figured out. However, you can make a few changes that will help you to move in the right direction.
1. Automate your Savings
The first thing you need to do to transform your savings strategy, is start automating the way that you pay yourself. If you’re struggling to save because you’re always tempted to spend all of your money when you receive your wages each month, setting up an automatic transaction that moves some of your income into your savings account when you get paid will help to reduce this problem.
When you can’t see the extra money sitting in your bank account, you’ll be less likely to spend it. This means that your savings can start building automatically, without you even noticing.
2. Work on your Credit
It sounds strange but working on your credit rating now will give you a lot of benefits in the long-run. Think of it this way, the next time you need to borrow money, whether it’s for a personal loan, a mortgage, or a car finance loan; you’ll be able to achieve a lower rate on your interest. Often, the best loan deals are reserved for people with the best credit.
If you’ve taken the time to improve your credit now, then you won’t need to jump through hoops to get a better deal later on. That way, you’ll be able to reduce the amount you spend every month on repayments.
3. Pay your bills automatically
Since you’ll be working on improving your credit anyway, one of the best ways to ensure that your score goes up is to make sure that you pay your bills on time every month. With that in mind, set up automatic payments to go out of your bank as soon as you get paid. This will both improve your chances of a better credit score and mean that you won’t need to pay late fees on the costs that you have to manage anyway.
While you’re automating your bill payments, remember to look through your monthly expenses and get rid of any subscriptions that you don’t need.
4. Make the Most of Rewards
If you generally shop quite frequently with the same selection of stores or brands, it’s worth finding out whether those companies offer reward cards and loyalty bonuses to frequent shoppers. If they do, you can save yourself a small fortune every time you shop with them by taking advantage of exclusive deals, discounts, and voucher codes.
Sometimes, it’s a good idea to sign up for newsletters with companies that you don’t shop with as regularly, just to see whether you can get discounts and rewards from them too. Just don’t be tempted to buy things you don’t need just because they’re on sale.
5. Round up your Transactions
If you think that you don’t have enough cash left over when you’re finished paying your bills each month to afford to start a savings account, think again. Even the smallest amount of money can make a massive difference in the long-term. In addition to your automatic savings transfers, consider rounding up all of your purchases, and putting the extra money towards your future cash. For instance, if you spend $25.73 at the movies, you can round it up to $26 instead.
Whatever you have left in your bank account that goes beyond your predictions for the month, move it over into your savings to add a little extra weight to your kitty.
6. Take One Small Step at a Time
Finally, remember that sometimes, if you want to make a significant change to your financial habits, you’ll need to start with a few small steps. Eliminate one unnecessary monthly expense each month or focus on putting an extra 5 dollars away every month, so you’re pushing yourself to try a little bit harder with your cash all the time.
Even the smallest steps add up in the long-term.