If you want to save money, you need to spend less. It sounds like a no-brainer, but as the majority of those who have tried will agree, it’s not as easy as it sounds.
To make a real difference to the money you can save, it’s more than making the occasional decision to buy cheaper. Spending to save is a change in lifestyle. So where do you start?
Understand Your Finances
Before you can get a grip on your spending, the first thing you need to do is understand and analyse your outgoings. It’s a tried and tested approach, and any method works well, from pencil and paper to complex spreadsheets. Financial planning apps have become popular among the Millennial generation as a way to gain an understanding of their cash flow and save money.
If your finances are particularly complex, paying for professional advice may end up helping you to save. The financial advisor software that some IFAs use, from providers such as https://www.intelliflo.com/, allows their customers to review and manage their affairs online, with expert advice on hand if it’s needed.
Automate Your Spending
With the majority of bills now payable online, there’s greater scope for automating your payments for fixed subscriptions, such as internet access or Netflix. This helps avoid missing bills and incurring charges. You can also set up direct debit payments for variable costs such as mobile phone bills, utilities and credit card bills, although you would need to keep a regular check on your accounts.
Analyse your subscriptions before you do, though. Are you subscribed to a movie channel but not watching the films? Try cancelling and watching your movies ‘a la carte’ – it may be a cheaper option in the long run.
Use Cash Only
The convenience of contactless technology has its downsides – it can disconnect you from the reality of your finances. Limiting your spending methods to cash only provides a physical reminder of how much you can or cannot spend.
The most successful savers live their lives within their means. Maxing out debt on houses and cars is the downfall of many would-be savers. Take pleasure in knowing that status symbols aren’t everything. A medium-sized home which can be paid off early and an average-priced car improve your chances of saving for the future.