If you’ve ever had a hard time sticking to a budget, we’ve got news for you. There are plenty of people out there, just like you. Money is one of the many things you generally won’t learn to master when you’re in school. Even if you had plenty of guidance from your parents, you’ll still need to figure out your own way of keeping track of your finances and gaining financial independence.
A good budget can help you to pay off your loans, save up for emergencies, and even plan for your future. What’s more, making the most out of your money doesn’t have to be nearly as difficult as it seems. Making a few basic changes to your lifestyle here and there can make a world of difference. Here are 5 magic methods you can use to save more money.
1. Try the Jam Jar Method
The Jam Jar method, otherwise known as the envelope budgeting method, can help today’s savvy spenders to save more towards their goals. You don’t need actual jam jars to use this strategy; all you need is multiple bank accounts. For instance, if you want to save for a house deposit to buy a home five years down the line, and you want to go on a holiday within the next 2 years, you’ll create two savings accounts alongside your regular current account.
Whenever you get a payment from your job, you’ll automatically assign a portion of that cash into each of your savings accounts. You can even set up direct debits to make this easier. Transferring money into your savings straight away means that you don’t have to worry about it later.
2. Test yourself with a Money-Saving Challenge
One of the best ways to start making more money fast is to test yourself. There are plenty of challenges out there that make budgeting a little bit more exciting. For instance, the 1p challenge involves saving 1 penny one day, followed by 2 pence the day after and so on for the rest of the year. While it might sound like a struggle to do this at first, it’s much simpler than you think.
By the time you reach the end of the year, you should have about £667.95 in total. That’s plenty of cash to put towards something important – and it all started with a single penny. Another similar option is to save one pound one week, followed by two pounds the next week, and so on.
3. Learn some Crucial Life Skills
You’d be surprised how much money you can save just by learning how to do more for yourself. For instance, if you teach yourself how to cook amazing meals, then you’ll be so excited by the prospect of eating your own food, that you won’t bother ordering in or spending a fortune on fast food.
You can also save more money by learning how to do handyman jobs around the house, like repainting your rooms, setting up shelves and building cabinets. Some people learn how to garden and grow vegetables at home; others focus on learning computer skills so that they never have to go to a professional for help when their PC stops working.
4. Spend more time procrastinating
Procrastination is the last thing you want when you’re making money, but it’s more useful than you might think when it comes to saving money. When you procrastinate, you simply avoid spending cash straight away – even if you think that you desperately want to buy something. Rather than telling yourself that you can’t get a loan out for your new kitchen, or that you can’t buy yourself a brand-new phone, you instead say that you’re going to spend the money in a week instead.
You’re not denying yourself what you want forever; you’re just giving yourself the time to think about what you really need, and what you’re going to look for when you’re searching for the right deal. You might end up deciding that you don’t want the item that you were thinking of buying at all.
5. Try a “Buy Nothing” Week, Month or Year
Extreme budgeters become so self-sufficient that they’re able to avoid buying anything for entire weeks, months, or even years. You’ll still need to pay for things like household bills and your mortgage, but beyond that you spend nothing. That means no new clothes, no Netflix memberships, not even any petrol for your car.
By the end of the year, you could end up saving an absolute fortune compared to what you usually spend. Forcing yourself not to pay anything for 12 months can be a huge challenge, to begin with. Why not start with a week or month to see how you go first?