• Nicole

Top 5 ways to save money now


Simple lifestyle changes can lead to huge monetary savings.

piggy bank sitting on a calculator
Small changes can make your piggy bank fat in no time


There are many small actions that you can adopt, either routinely or on a one-off basis, to save you money right away. On one hand, there are some existing actions that can be reduced or eliminated altogether to bring about significant gains in the short term. It is thought that ONE LESS EQUALS MORE. This means that if you have one less of an old item, it gives you room to purchase more of a new item. However, instead of purchasing more with the cash saved from removing the old item, putting that cash aside and over a period of time you will be surprised at the amount of cash you have accumulated.


These actions require discipline so start them as slow as a tortoise and build up as swiftly as a hare.


Five (5) Money Savers

These are the top five (5) money savers that when executed properly can save you money today:


1. CREATE A BUDGET

Save money by creating a budget. Instead of deciding how you will spend your income when it is in your hand, start planning how it will be spent prior to it being received.


Create a recurring budget based on your pay cycle (weekly, fortnightly, or monthly). Based on the amount you earn allocate a specific amount to savings as well as to cover your bills. Stick to this budget closely and do not spend the amount earmarked for savings. Use this free personal budget tracker to create your own budget.



2. SWITCH BANK ACCOUNTS

Save money by switching bank accounts. Periodically compare the interest rate and terms on your current savings account with other accounts. This comparison can take place with accounts within or outside your bank.


For similar accounts to yours (same terms and tenure), check to see if the interest rate being offered is more competitive than yours and switch accounts immediately. For accounts with different terms and tenure, upgrade to an account with a longer tenure that earns a higher interest rate. For example, switch your regular savings account to a 30, 60, or 90 days fixed deposit account.


3. ELIMINATE OR REDUCE DEBT

Save money by eliminating debt. Stop taking on loans or new debt. Loans attract a higher interest rate than savings. Try to save towards the item you wish to purchase instead of taking out debt to acquire the item.


For those with existing debt, try to reduce debt by making lump sum payment towards the principal and request a lower monthly payment. The difference between the old and new monthly payments represents an immediate cash savings.


4. QUIT SMOKING

Save money by quitting smoking or drinking. Quit one of your many habits like smoking and divert the cash to your savings account. Funding these habits are costly as they need to be satisfied on an ongoing basis. These costs can run into thousands of dollars.


For example, if you smoke one pack of cigarettes per day and each pack cost $30.00 eliminating this habit will save you $10,950 ($30 x 365) per year.


5. DRINK COFFEE AT HOME

Save money by drinking coffee at home. Buying coffee at the café every morning costs you an arm and a leg in the long run. Sure, you think that one latte could never put a dent in your pocket. Think again, try making your own latte at home and save big.


Consider buying one latte for $4.00 every morning for two years. That dent in your pocket has now become a crater. Your total bill over two years is $2,920 ($4.00 x 365 x 2). This money can easily be converted to savings.


Final word

Take stock of your life and either reduce, or eliminate actions that stop you from saving money. There are many lifestyle hacks that can be practiced today to get you on your way. Remember the top five (5) ways to save money are lifestyle changes such as creating a budget, switching bank accounts, eliminating, or reducing debt, quitting smoking, and drinking coffee at home. Which money saver will be your first act today?



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