How to Train Yourself to Become a Better Saver
Do you want to make saving a priority, rather than an afterthought? If the answer is yes, then these tips can help you get into the savings habit, leaving you in better financial shape for the year ahead- and beyond. Read on to see our helpful tips for being a better saver.
How to stop yourself spending
You don’t have to strike it rich on Wall Street, win the lottery or even earn a six-figure salary to build a comfortable savings cushion. You just have to play a few mental tricks on yourself to stay focused on spending less and keeping more cash.
1. Start now
Whether it’s opening a savings account, putting your loose change into your money box at the end of the day, or ditching your daily takeaway coffee- do something proactive today to kick-start your savings habit. Don’t wait until you make more money. The more you make, the more you spend.
2. Start small
There are lots of challenges out there that show how saving small amounts can soon add up. We love this 1p savings challenge from Skint Dad, who managed to squirrel away nearly $700 in a year. Even $100 per paycheck will add up over time (see how much).
3. Keep your budget simple
Put together a budget so you know how much you can afford to save each month. The 50-30-20 rule, can help you give your budget focus. Keep your budget and your goals simple. Zeroing in on your main objective will help you stay on course.
4. Write down specific goals
What are you saving for? How much will it cost? And when do you need the money by? Using these questions to set clear savings goals is a great habit to get into. That makes them more real. Pledging to save $2,000 for a beach vacation is likely to get you there.
5. Set up an account for each goal
Knowing which pot is for spending and which should be left alone also means there’s less temptation to withdraw what you should be saving. For education, vacation, car, computer — or for large, recurring expenses, such as insurance premiums.
6. Take money off the top
Why not set up an automatic transfer, so a fixed sum of money will be redirected into your savings as soon as you’ve been paid? Have your employer (or your bank) take money off the top of your salary for retirement or some other goal. You’ll never miss it.
7. Toss spare change
Pop your loose change into your money box, and when it’s full pay it into the bank. You’ll be surprised at how much was in that little piggybank! Toss spare change into a bank or glass jar and watch your money grow into enough to pay for holiday gifts or even a vacation.
8. Give yourself an instant reward
Rewarding yourself is one of the best things to do when it comes to saving. Setting yourself strict boundaries and not having any perks will make you more likely to break your limit. Each time you brown-bag your lunch instead of eating out, toss the savings into your cash jar.
9. Keep writing the check
Saved money on your car insurance, or scored money off a new pair of trainers? Transfer the amount you’ve saved straight into your savings account. Keep writing the check after you pay off a loan or a bill, and send it to a savings or investment account.
10. Build an emergency fund
A good savings goal to consider is setting up an emergency fund, to help you prepare for unexpected expenses or setbacks. The Money Advice Service suggests having three months’ essential outgoings available in an instant access savings account
Ready to change your spending habits? To begin, have a think about how you can use our advice. Write a list of practical but small lifestyle ‘tweaks’ and challenge yourself to stick to these for 4 weeks. You may be surprised at just how much you can save if you make a few small changes.