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I’m not going to pretend saving money is easy. But with a few money saving hacks, some quick adjustments and a bit of motivation it can definitely be made easier.
Have you ever had that sinking feeling, you know, the one where you get part way through the month and start wondering if your money is going to make it to the end?
You’ve tried cutting back and trying to save money that way, but just end up feeling miserable and unmotivated?
You need to learn to save money without feeling like you’re going without.
The first and most obvious thing to do is to cut out things entirely, but doing too much of this is a surefire way to make you more unhappy, feel like you’re having no fun, and eventually lead to splurging out and overspending.
The trick to saving money without feeling the pinch too much, is to still make room for those little fun things where you can, and find clever ways to save money that are simple, don’t take too much effort, and still leave you with enough spending money for small treats.
I’m not saying it’s not good to be frugal. It is! Being frugal is a great way to save money and build up good savings. A lot of wealthy people ended up where they are by adopting a frugal mindset.
What you don’t need to be though is cheap. There’s difference between being careful and being tight. You don’t need to make huge changes and live unhappily because the purse strings are pulled too tightly.
There are easier and less painful ways to save money that just require a small change of mindset; picking up simple money habits, using smart money saving hacks and being more intentional with money management.
I don’t want to be unrealistic – obviously just using one of these tips won’t save you thousands, but it’s the combination of a few of them that is going to help you save much more money, and get you that bit closer to achieving your financial goals.
15 Money Saving Hacks
1. Automate Savings
Automating your savings is a great way to save money and let it grow without even having to think about it. When you’re not thinking about saving and it’s just happening for you, it’s much less painful!
There are plenty of banks who offer an automatic savings option within your account, you can set up online or go into your bank to arrange.
You can set your account to ‘sweep’ any amount or excess money from your account and move it to savings for you.
If you prefer, another great option is to use a ‘skimming’ savings app, such as Plum, Chip or Digit.
These are clever apps that you link up to your bank accounts and they calculate how much money you can afford to save, based on your spending, and skim those small amounts into savings.
They’re cleverly programmed to take amounts you won’t miss, so you might not even notice you’re saving. You can withdraw your money at any time, or let your savings build for as long as you like or until you need them.
Read this in depth Plum review to find out more about how it all works.
2. Pay Yourself First
Treat savings like any other bill or expense. Decide on a set amount and pay that amount into savings every month, just as you would pay your mortgage or phone bill. Automate this, like mentioned above.
This way, your savings are taken care of automatically, saving you the stress and headache of having to deal with it yourself.
Once you have your money management set up to automate itself monthly, you can relax in knowing that your bills are being paid on time, your savings are taken care of, and your finances are in order.
3. Give Everything A Purpose
Try making sure all your money has a designated purpose, even your savings. Give it all a place to go.
If you separate your money into different pots such as ‘holiday fund’,’children’s school uniform’, or ‘Christmas fund’, it makes it less easy to take the money from somewhere without realising you might be leaving yourself short in another area.
4. Make It Hard To Access
Keep your savings separate from your main spending accounts, so it’s more difficult to access. The more barriers there are for you to get that money, the less likely you are to use it impulsively.
5. Shop Through Cashback Sites, Always
Try and get into the habit of always shopping via cashback sites when buying things online. An easy tip is to to add a bookmark in your internet browser bar.
You can earn cashback from so many retailers, it only adds a few seconds to the time taken to do your shop, so there’s no reason not to take advantage of cashback deals.
6. Never Pay Full Price Online Shopping
Install the Honey browser extension to your internet browser and start saving money where ever you shop. Honey will automatically search and find the best discount/coupon available for the site you’re currently browsing and applying it automatically at checkout.
How easy is that?
You can also find loads of deals (printable and digital) on Swagbucks, including grocery coupons, promo codes, and cashback rebates. Check out the popular shopping coupon codes for hundreds of merchants, including RedBubble coupon deals.
7. Switch And Save
Chances are, you’re paying more than you need to for a least one of your subscription services or utilities. Companies often offer better rates for new customers than you can get by staying, so it’s always worth checking to see what the best rates available are. Comparison sites will easily check to find you the best deal and it’s easy to switch, sign up with a new provider and they’ll usually take care of all the details.
8. Try A Change Jar
A little old school maybe, but sometimes the old ideas are the best ones! If you’re the kind of person that often spends in cash, a change jar can be an easy way of building up a little savings over the year.
It’s super simple, just whenever you empty your pockets, or notice loose change in your purse, add it to your change jar.
Decide on a certain amount of time to keep filling it before emptying. A lot of people like to save up their change and then count it up to use at Christmas – a great way of having a little extra money to put towards Christmas costs.
A quick note – if you do save up your change, when it comes to adding it up to use, never be tempted to use one of those coin changing machines you sometimes see in supermarket foyers.
These will charge you, usually an expensive percentage of your money just to count and change it up! Some banks will have the same machines you can use for free, or you can bag it up yourself and pay into your bank account.
9. Get Discount Gift Cards
This is probably one of the less well used money saving hacks, but it’s a good one! If you know you’ll be buying things from a specific store, it might be worth buying discounted gift cards from reselling websites, and paying with those.
If you can get a gift card for 90% of it’s value, you can pocket the other 10% you would have spent, and add it to your savings.
Where To Find And Buy Discounted Gift Cards:
10. Keep On Paying
If you’ve finished paying off something, say you had sofas on credit, a car finance loan, a mortgage, whatever it might be, if you can afford it, why not keep making the payments but pay them to your savings account instead.
This stops the money being swallowed up into your general budget and being spent unnecessarily or accidentally.
11. Sleep On It
Whenever you get the urge to buy something on impulse, don’t. Give yourself the chance to at least sleep on it before making the purchase. You might find that once some time is passed, you decide you don’t actually need or want to buy it anymore.
12. Try A ‘One In, One Out’ policy
If you want to be a bit stricter about your spending and saving, you might want to try adopting a ‘one in, one out’ policy. So whenever you’re tempted to buy something, if you already have lots of the same item and you don’t need that many, one needs to go before you add a new one.
This could work for anything you have a multitude of – takes shoes for example – if you already have a wardrobe full, and are tempted to buy more, you need to get rid of a pair before buying a new pair. This could either be the deterrent you need to stop spending, or at least keep your home less cluttered!
You could choose to either donate them – or try and resell and recoup some of the money spent.
13. Use Cash Not Card
This can be a good one to try for a few weeks if you constantly find yourself overspending. Decide on an amount you can afford, and take out the money in cash each week. Then whenever you buy anything, use cash, not card.
It gives you a much more physical idea of what you’re spending, you can see how much you have less, and when it’s gone, it’s gone.
14. Don’t Save Card Details Online
You know when you buy something online and it pops up asking you to save your payment details for next time? Choose ‘no’.
That simple act of needing to get up and go and find your card details and enter them in, may be just the small obstacle you need to stop making an unnecessary purchase.
15. Bulk Buy Sale Items
Whenever you see items that you buy lots of at a good discounted price, stock up on them so you get them cheaper. You’ll use them in the long run so it’s a worthwhile buy.
I’m talking things like toilet rolls and washing powder – not buying a load of new jumpers and shirts because they’re in the sale!
In fact, bulk buy anyway if you can – things tend to work out cheaper in bigger quantities (always check the pricing though!).
So there you have it, 15 simple and painless ways to save money. Do you have any other money saving hacks? Share them in the comments below!