14 May 2012

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Tips for saving money that will always work

Whether you want to save money, avoid the debt trap or pay back your debt, there is a way to teach yourself to save. Some of these tips are geared towards learning new habits to save around the house, but the others that can really make a difference in the long run. Setting goals is important as, well as daily reminders, of where you want to go with your finances, instead of trying to stop yourself from overspending. Have a jar to put R20 notes or any small change in so you are aware of the fact that you need to save. Label the jar with your goal, like buying something you would ordinarily feel guilty about, or to go away for a weekend.

The reminder money jar, picture by Images_Of_Money

If you want to avoid being over indebted or you want to save money, the easiest and most effective way to save a bit every month is a pay-check deduction. This way, you will not be tempted to spend the money you are planning to save as it does not show on your bank balance. Instead, it is automatically paid into a savings account and even better: make sure it’s not easy for you to draw your savings.

A good idea is to arrange for a three day period between requesting a withdrawal and receiving the money and to only be allowed a withdrawal once every three months. This way, you cannot use the money for instant gratification and if you do use it, you have to save another three months before you can touch it again. This is great for people who feel like saving is impossible because once they get to the end of the month, they think about using their savings instead of spending less.

The next big thing is saving money in your everyday life. Follow tips to save water and electricity in South Africa and be aware of all the spending that you are doing. Below is a room-by-room guide on saving around the house.

It’s important to keep to a budget, especially around times like holidays and Christmas when we tend to splurge and forget about budgeting. Instead, draw up a new budget for times when you will have new expenses. A great tip for Christmas spending is to arrange with you family beforehand that everyone gets only one gift from one person. The gift giver should be someone who knows them pretty well, not Aunt Edna you haven’t seen in 10 years, as a thoughtful gift is even more valuable than an overtly expensive one. But because everyone is only buying one gift, they can buy one R200 gift instead of 20 R50 gifts. You save R800 in this scenario. Of course it will take some planning to let everyone know of the arrangement, who they have to buy a gift for and what the value of the gift must be, but in the end everyone will save time and money AND receive a gift they will appreciate.

Finally, steer clear of people you know who live lives that you can only dream. The thing is, when we are around people who buy only the best of everything we either feel like we don’t fit in because we can’t afford to live that way, we try to buy some of the things they have or we feel discontent with what we have. Either way, these people mean no harm, but if you struggle making ends meet it will only make you unhappy (and bankrupt) to be around people who are better off than you, have expensive hobbies and visit places you cannot afford. You can easily forget that money cannot buy happiness when their lives seem so much more glamorous and exciting than yours. 

1 comment:

  1. One can't mention the goodness of this post. It's so informative. Thanks...

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