Solid strategies to start saving more money in 2019
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Solid strategies to start saving more money in 2019 (and beyond!)

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Whether you're good or bad at saving, it's possible for most people to save more money. If it's done wisely and within the context of a budget you're unlikely to notice the difference. Here are some of the best ways to save money – from the savings experts!

First, sort your finances

You might want to know how to save money or how to get out of debt, but that’s not where you start. First things first, you’ve got to take stock of your current financial situation. Once you understand where you’re at, you’ll be able to put the right processes in place. Start with these ideas:

Reorganise your bank accounts

Gone are the days of having just one bank account. These days, banks understand that most people need different accounts to make paying bills and budgeting work. Instead of having your wages or salary deposited into your current account, ask your bank about opening several accounts. Then, earmark individual accounts for bills, spending, and saving. With these accounts open, you can split your incoming salary automatically between the three (or however many you need). This way, you’re working within your budget in a way that you never need to touch your savings money.

Different accounts for different savings goals.

Pay yourself first

Okay, this one is a bit of a Jedi mind trick, but it works. Paying yourself first means thinking about your savings as a very important bill that you have to pay at the beginning of the month (or weekly/fortnightly if you're paid that way). Just choose a percentage of your earnings that you want to save and have it automatically deposited into your savings account on payday. Want to take it further? Try squeezing every dollar you spend so that you have money leftover at the end of the month in your daily account that you can then move over to your savings.

Save your bonus or tax refund

Do you have some lump sums of money coming your way? Save your refunds or bonuses ASAP. This isn’t a windfall, so put down that credit card and put the money where it belongs – right in your online savings account!

A happy piggy bank is a full piggy bank.

Bank your pay rise

You’ve been doing a great job at work – congrats on that pay rise. Now forget it ever happened. Take the increased pay and put it straight into your savings. You’ve managed to live well on your previous salary, right? If you're budgeting well enough to live within your existing earnings, it should be easy to put away your pay increase.

Save your expenses

At work you might pay for your expenses out of your personal account and then bill your employer at the end of the month. When you get your refund from the company, just put it in your savings account. It’s a wonderful savings boost without too much thought. You can get your employer to pay directly into your savings so you won’t even be tempted to spend it.

Pay your bills on time

Paying your bills on time comes with perks. Not only will you avoid any late fees or finance charges, but some companies like energy suppliers even discount your bill if you pay early or on time. Sure, it’s a couple of dollars here and there, but when it comes to saving money, every penny counts. Literally.

Avoid bank fees

You have no idea how easy it is to save money when you’re paying attention to your bank accounts. What are you doing paying those monthly checking and savings fees? Move to an online savings account and you'll stop paying fees. Then, you can take the money that you would’ve paid, and pop it into your savings.

Do a monthly spending review

This may hurt! Take a piece of paper and a pen and write down all the expenses you make in a month – we’re talking mortgage payments to nights out to the pub. Now, review the list and try to eliminate or reduce costs associated with unnecessary expenditures (like the Friday nights out to the pub). Use a budgeting tool like the Sorted tool to help you.

A contactless payment.

Just say no

Saving money is one thing, but staying away from temptation is another. We live in a high consumer society. Every time you turn on the TV, open your email, or even take a walk through the city, someone is trying to sell you something. You’ve got a choice, but sometimes it’s hard to stop paying attention. Here’s how you can avoid getting sucked into the marketing traps:

Unsubscribe from tempting promotional emails

Go through your inbox and unsubscribe from emails that may tempt you to overspend. When you feel like you’ve got better self-control, you can resubscribe to reminders about the next 50 percent off sale or a new buy one, get one free deal. Until then, make it easier to save by sending those promotional emails to your spam folder, or clicking on the unsubscribe link.

Unsubscribe from those emails.

Cancel unused club memberships

We’re all guilty of it: those gym membershipsgym memberships that are just gathering dust, and accruing debt. Are you paying a membership fee at a gym or club you never use? How often are you going to Hot Yoga? If you find that you’re that you’re not using your memberships, cancel them. It might cost you a little to opt out, but it’s worth it if you’re not going enough to make it worthwhile. You can always renew the membership at a later date if realise you actually do miss it.

Cut back on your subscription services

One or two might be fine, but subscriptions can build up due to direct debits that are easy to lose track of. Take the time to really look at which subscription services you’re using or need, then cancel the ones you don’t. You’ll be amazed at how much money you save.

Curb that spending!

If you really want to know , we’ve got the answer: change the way you spend money. Sounds easy, but it’s harder than you think. We have some pretty ingrained habits, living in a society geared towards spending. Here are some tips on how to change your spending habits (which is often just the best way to save money):

Think to yourself: do you really need it?

Ask yourself every time you’re about to spend money, “Do I really need it?” The answer is more often than not a ‘no’. Just a little bit of mindfulness can go a long way. We often buy things to try and keep up with others, spending money we don’t have. Change the way you think and you can greatly reduce the amount of debt you've got.

Debt can really drag down your savings.

Customer rewards

Customer rewards programmes can be great if you’re trying to save money or lower the amount of debt you have. Sign up for the free customer rewards programs with stores you commonly shop at. When you’re a member, you can receive discounts, cashback benefits, and other rewards that will help you hold onto your hard earned cash.

Keep credit cards for emergencies only

Got a habit of getting into trouble with credit cards? You’re not alone. Here’s an easy trick: hide your credit cards or keep them in a safe place in your home, just not in your wallet. If you need to keep a card for emergencies, that’s okay as long as it’s not on you all the time.

Change your financial mindset

Master the 30-day rule

Avoiding instant gratification is one of the most important rules of personal finance. If you really want something, wait 30 days before you buy it. If you’re still pining for that new toaster after 30 days, it was meant to be! Quite often though, after a month has passed, you’ll find that the urge to purchase has passed as well. If you take the time, and wait to buy the thing that you think you can’t live without, you’ll have a better perspective about whether it’s truly worth the money.

Avoid stress-spending

Sometimes we can feel best remedy for a bad day at work is splurging on something like new gym gear. This is known as stress spending – a quick and easy ‘fix’ to wind down and feel better about life. It might seem like a good idea, but it rarely is. Instead of buying things like new gym gear, get yourself to the gym! You don’t need to buy yourself things to make yourself feel better. Find other ways to de-stress like going for a walk, spending time with friends, or taking a long bath. Spending money won’t reduce your stress in the long run, especially when you’ve racked up debt.

Squeezing a stress ball.

Talk to your friends

When you’re feeling discouraged about how to save money or how to get out of debt, sit down and talk to the people you love and care about and ask them for help. There’s no shame in this. Tell your people that you’re trying to change your spending habits. You’re not alone in this! They’ll have heaps of suggestions and will be able to support you to reach your goals – but you have to tell them about it first!

Balance generosity with sensible money habits

Generosity is a beautiful trait, but you need to make sure it’s not at the cost of your own financial wellbeing. Are you the friend that shouts people coffee, lunches, and dinners? You’re a good friend, but being overly generous isn’t going to help you save money. A great way to avoid paying for everyone is to bring just enough cash for yourself.

Think about your future

When it comes to saving money or getting out of debt, think positively about the future. You can do it! Here’s how to get started:

Build an emergency fund

Life happens – whether it’s a roof repair, or an unexpected veterinary bill, you need to be prepared for these out of the blue expenses. Having emergency savings can prevent you from going into debt or tapping into your savings. Some people think that a solid emergency fund is up to half a year of your expenses, but it really depends on your financial circumstances. A good rule of thumb is to have enough to cover 3-6 months’ worth of living expenses. Starting now is better than not starting at all. You can build your fund up over time.

Emergency fund under wraps.

Get excited about saving

Saving money isn’t fun, but you can create a passion for it. Just think about everything you could do with savings: trips overseas, a better education for your kids, less stress, and a happier life. It’s starting to sound better, right? There’s a very particular feeling of joy when you watch your savings grow. Saving is a real accomplishment. You’ll feel proud of yourself when you stick to a budget and see your bank accounts grow.
Ready to make a real difference in how you save money? Rabobank is your answer. Get in touch to set up your online savings account today.

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