Managing your spending to save money
A big excuse for not saving is “there’s nothing to save”. I’m guilty of thinking it too, but it’s not true. There’s almost no one on this planet who isn’t doing some spending that they could afford to cut back, providing easy access to money for saving.
This article is going to go through some of the ways you can curb your spending, and gain a savings account. There’s a lot of great advice out there, we’ve just pulled together five of our favourite tips to get you started – so don’t stop looking here!
Do not shop impulsively
Impulse spending is the biggest drain on most peoples’ incomes. That little treat you grabbed at the dollar store, that lunch out you so deserved, these little buys that we don’t often think about add up quickly.
One huge way of curbing our spending? Stop buying impulsively. Make a grocery list and stick to it, don’t buy the extras. Pay in cash, not credit, so that you feel it. These are small life changes but they really add up over time (some research showing that people who pay with plastic tend to pay between 12-18% more than those who pay in cash – and are twice as likely to spend!).
Use the price match guarantee
There are a lot of big chain grocery stores that allow price matching, a process whereby if you find an item cheaper elsewhere – and bring proof that you did – the store will match the price (possibly even beat it). It’s absolutely silly not to take the time to look through other markets’ flyers when a price match guarantee is in effect, it’s just spending money you don’t have to!
Make sure that when you are price matching, you do bring the flyer you saw the cheaper price in, as otherwise the store may not honor it.
Shop the sales and buy in bulk
Sales are great, they save us a significant amount of our grocery bill every time we take the time to look at them. But sales are only one part of the equation. If you buy one package of chicken when it’s on sale, you’ve saved a few dollars. If you buy several packs, you’ve saved several more – and possibly given yourself the chance not to go back to the store next week, saving even more on impulse buys.
Try stocking up on sale items and storing them in a freezer.
Another element of buying in bulk is buying for your lunches for the week at the grocery store, rather than eating out every day. Just think, if you spend $7 per lunch per working day, that’s an $1800 expense annually that you could be cutting into a fraction! All of that excess can then go into your pocket!
Buy used rather than new when possible
Buying a new car will cost you thousands, upon thousands, of dollars – and you will never get that money back. Even if, best case scenario, you take care of the car for a few years and then sell it, you’ll rarely get half of the original price.
To put this into perspective, “A brand new car will cost you $28,000. In the first four years of owning it, it will lose $17,000 of that value. You’re better off throwing $100 out the window every week”. It’s scary how quickly cars depreciate, so what’s the solution? Buy a used car.
You’ll likely only spend a fraction of the price for a new car, and can still get some great looking vehicles – sometimes ones that are still under warranty.
Reduce your debt
If you’re carrying $2,000 of debt at 19% interest, you’re paying a significant amount every single year out to the credit card company – just for the privilege of continuing to owe them money. Make a debt repayment plan, and pay it off.
Other tips to help save
As we emphasized earlier, this listing of five key tips is just that – non comprehensive list. Below, please find a list of several additional options for saving money every year.
- Avoid brand names
- Bargain hunt, coupon clip, and scrounge to save
- Buy things off season, when stores need to get rid of them
- Create a buffer between wanting to buy something, and actually paying for it
- Do know when discount days are and use them
- Don’t bring money with you when you go out
- Make coffee, muffins, small purchases at home wherever possible
- Only buy items you intended to buy, no impulse buying
- Pay yourself a weekly allowance – and don’t exceed it
- Stop spending change, insist on putting it in a jar
- Use gift cards, reward points, etc. whenever possible