Loves to share her views on issues that everybody should be aware of.
Practical Ways to Save Money
There is a saying that it takes 28 days to break a habit, and the same can be said about creating a new habit. It is never too late to start saving. The problem for many people is not that they don't want to save; it's that they might not have a lot to save after every paycheck.
You need to take the following steps when you want to start saving.
- Firstly you need to do a budget and see where you can save money.
- You need to investigate every expense that you incur every month for the entire year and then see where you can cut costs.
- Saving money is going to be a difficult task in the beginning, and it will take a while for you to get into a routine every month.
- Then you need to set yourself a goal.
- Then you need to see how much you would like to have saved in 3 to 6 months for an emergency fund.
- If you want a new car or to go on holiday, then you want to do the calculations to see how much you could save for the next 6 to 12 months.
- If you want to have a retirement fund for when you are older, then you will need to either set up a pension fund or set up a monthly standing order.
Below are five small things that you can accomplish that shouldn't be too difficult to implement. Each is discussed in detail in the sections that follow. After a few weeks, when you get into a routine, it will become easier for you to start doing all of these things on a regular basis. If at any time you fail to do these steps, don’t beat yourself up; just start your routine up again the following week.
5 Ways to Save Cash and Coins Every Month
- Put spare coins into a money box
- Don't spend any money for one day out of each week
- Assign yourself spending money
- Stop following brands on social media
- Analyse your monthly budget
“Your future is created by what you do today, not tomorrow”
— Robert Kiyosaki
1. Put Spare Coins Into a Money Box
Every evening or weekend, start putting aside any loose coins that you have left in your purse or pocket into a money box or a biscuit box. If you implement this small change, then you could see yourself saving $£€5 to $£€10 a week which over the year could total as much as £€60 to $€£120.
I think if you can use a sealed container, then it will deter you from opening it and borrowing some coins.
However, if you can't find a sealed container, then an old sweet box or a mason jar will be just as good. But remember to place this somewhere in your house where you won’t see it during the week so that you won’t feel compelled to borrow from it.
How to Save Coins
Remove all your spare coins from your purse, pants or jacket pockets every Friday or Sunday night.
Try to implement this routine after you arrive home from work on Friday or on Sunday when you are preparing for the work week ahead.
2. Don't Spend Any Money for One Day Out of Each Week
The next thing you need to do is assign a day each week where you won't spend any money on that particular day.
If you are able to know your schedule the week beforehand then you can plan out on the Friday or the Saturday what day of the following week that it would suit you to not spend any cash.
Then, if possible, you need to see if you can get what you need done in advance for that day during the weekend. For instance, you might need to buy your train ticket or put gas in your car the day beforehand.
This plan on the day that you are not to spend money requires you to have the following tasks done.
- You need to have gas already in your car.
- You need to have your train or bus ticket paid in advance.
- You need to bring a packed lunch and snacks to work or college for that day.
- Prepay for your parking if possible.
Not spending any money for one day in the week will be more difficult than you might expect.
You might actually be surprised to find that you do actually visit a shop every day that you are in town. You might not realize that it has become a habit every day for you to buy your lunch while you are out, or put gas in your car or buy some groceries for your household at the end of your work day.
If you fail to complete your task on the assigned day, do not panic. You just need to assign another day in the same week as a no-spending day. You will need to do this task every week for at least a month.
If you manage to save $£€10 that week, then over 52 weeks, you have managed to save $£€520.
If it is possible, try to increase it to two or three days a week where you don't go near a shop or spend any money online. This can be easier for people who don't live or work close to shops.
A Bankrate.com survey done in 2022 found that only 27 percent of Americans had enough in their saving account to cover their living expenses for up to six months.
“Look everywhere you can to cut a little bit from your expenses. It will all add up to a meaningful sum.”
— Suze Orman
3. Assign Yourself Spending Money
This next tip requires you to give yourself a wage from your paycheck. You need to set aside a realistic sum that will cover all of your sundry expenses for the week.
So assign yourself maybe $£€50 for the week. This amount should be enough to cover your lunches/coffee, snacks and any groceries top-ups.
While this is a small sum of cash, it also causes you to start reassessing what it is that you are going to buy. Now instead of eating your lunch out five days a week, you might now decide to only eat out two to three times a week.
You also need to ensure that you only spend the amount that you have assigned as your wage for that week. You cannot cheat and spend more that this amount.
If you start to see a pattern over a few weeks where you are broke or have extra cash left over, then you need to investigate why this is happening. If you are constantly broke, then you might be buying something you don't need and are going over your budget.
This is also a good way to ensure that you don’t use your debit/ credit cards during the week.
It also makes you more aware of what it is that you are buying every day, as you need to make sure you have enough cash in your wallet to pay for things.
4. Stop Following Brands on Social Media
If you have any social networking sites like Facebook or Instagram, then you might need to start unfollowing and unliking any brands that you follow on these platforms.
Following brands means that you are going to see their posts in your feed, and this is a sure way for you to fail your task and staring buying things that you don't need that will be cheaper in a few months' time anyway.
You might also need to go through your email inbox and start unsubscribing from brands' newsletters that you have subscribed to.
These are all methods that brands use to entice and encourage you to buy their products.
Unsubscribing and unfollowing all of these brands means that you won't be tempted to buy any of their product.
5. Analyse Your Monthly Budget
You need to look at your weekly expenses and income and analyze your finances to see where exactly you can start to save cash.
This requires you to look at what cash is coming in and what expenses are going out of your bank account each week.
All of these expenses should be similar amounts every month except maybe in winter, when some expenses might increase.
Once you have a realistic idea of all of your expenses, then subtract your total monthly expenses from your total monthly salary. Whatever is leftover is what should be saved each month.
You then need to set up an automatic transfer that will transfer out this amount to your savings account once a month. When you are doing your next budget, you need to start including this one in your expenses list.
What if I have nothing left over?
Once you have done your budget and you see that have nothing left over or you are in a deficit, then you need to look at what it is that you are spending your money on each week.
It is likely that you are buying something that you can't afford. If this is the case, then you need to stop it.
Start Keeping a Record Book
Start recording all of your expenses every day into a notepad for at least a week. Continue to do this task for at least one month to see where exactly it is that you are spending your cash.
You can record your expenses in the notes app on your cell phone when you are out and about. Then every evening or at the weekend, write in the total expenses that you incur for that week into your record book.
You need to note down what it was that you spent your money on as well as what the exact amount was. This will be important later on when you are looking to cut out unnecessary expenses.
Once you know what you are spending all your cash on, then you need to cut down on these expenses to increase the amount of money it is that you can save every month.
Analyse Your Record Book
- Once your month is up, you need to look at your record book and determine where you are spending the extra money.
- Highlight any unnecessary spending where you feel the money was wasted. Your task for the next month now is to not buy any of these items.
The areas where you need to cut back on will be takeaway coffees, stationery, food items, unnecessary promotional offers, lunches, snacks, subscriptions, eating out, alcohol, and sundry expenses.
Which Age Groups Are the Best at Saving for Retirement
A report released by Fidelity Investment in January 2020 found that Millennials are surpassing Generation X in their ability to save for their retirement. Their rate of saving has increased from 7.5% to 9.7%. However, Gen X has seen a decline of 3% down to 80% in the number of people savings this year.
The Baby Boomers are well ahead of both of these groups and are saving as much as 11.7% of their salaries.
Saving money begins by firstly looking at ways where you can save and secondly actually doing it. Implementing the measures to start saving and staying on track can be hit and miss for many people until they get into a routine.
Always start small, and then as you accomplish one task, take on another task. Keep looking at other areas in your life where you can save money. You will eventually start to see your hard work pay off the longer you continue to save.
- Jeff Rose, (2016), 6 Financial Advisors Share Their Best Financial Advice for Saving Money, Forbes, https://www.forbes.com/sites/jrose/2016/08/20/6-financial-advisors-share-their-best-financial-advice-for-saving-money/#404ed2244358
- Beginner’s guide to managing your money, Moneyadviceservice.org.uk, https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/articles/beginners-guide-to-managing-your-money
- Fidelity Investments (2020), Press Release: America Retirement Score Improves with more families in the green, https://s2.q4cdn.com/997146844/files/doc_news/archive/8ff559ab-d124-4dd8-9501-45a2ff618327.pdf
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2020 Sp Greaney
Sp Greaney (author) from Ireland on July 26, 2020:
@ Devika Primic, best of luck reaching it. I'm sure you will get there.
Devika Primic on July 26, 2020:
Saving money is a must for everyone. Your tips are sound advice. I am trying to save and hope I can reach my goals soon.
Sp Greaney (author) from Ireland on July 03, 2020:
@Mona Sabalones Gonzalez, yes that's so true. It's just adapting little things to make a big difference.
Mona Sabalones Gonzalez from Philippines on July 03, 2020:
This is a great article. I love your suggestions on how to limit spending and to save wisely. Oftentimes we think we can't save, but you make it sound so easy and your tips are very doable.
Sp Greaney (author) from Ireland on July 02, 2020:
@Abby Slutsky, thanks for stopping by Abby.
Abby Slutsky from America on July 02, 2020:
Nice article. Very helpful. Thanks for sharing your insight.
Sp Greaney (author) from Ireland on June 23, 2020:
@Rachel Alba, thank you. That is a great idea about increasing your account balance month on month. I think I will try that too.
I also save all my coins, you would be surprised how much they add up to at then end of the year.
Rachel Alba on June 23, 2020:
These are very good tips. I wish I read them when I was much younger. I do have a jar that I put all of my loose change in and try to keep at least 5 to 10 dollars more in my account then the month before. I live on social security and my husband's too. Thanks for all of the good advise. I'm going to pin this article.
Blessings to you.
Sp Greaney (author) from Ireland on June 16, 2020:
@Liza, I agree with you 100% there. He is lucky you took that on. It's vital to know where it goes, otherwise you're broke each month and then you're wondering where your cash is going.
Liza from USA on June 16, 2020:
After I got married, I have started to manage my husband's account. He never gets used to having a bookkeeper. I think it's essential to record and track all of our money spent. It's a great way to check our credits and balance to prepare for unexpected circumstances. You have given great tips here. Thanks for sharing!
Sp Greaney (author) from Ireland on June 14, 2020:
@Pamela Oglesby, thank you. I do the save thing with change too. It's a habit that I have always had.
Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on June 13, 2020:
This an excellent article with very good suggestions for saving money. I have saved change for as long as I can remember, but that is maybe the easiest suggestions. I am in the Baby Boomer group and I have found it to be easier to save as I've aged.
Sp Greaney (author) from Ireland on June 13, 2020:
@ Liz Westwood, that's just awful. That poor lady. That could have happened to any of us and it not something you ever expect to occur. I think contactless payment has its own place in society for a certain demographic.
Liz Westwood from UK on June 12, 2020:
That's a good point about contactless fraud. I know someone who had their card stolen at an airport from their bag. Several contactless payments were taken. The first she knew about it was when the bank rang her.
Sp Greaney (author) from Ireland on June 12, 2020:
@ Liz Westwood, that is similar to what I saw happening here too. I think it depends on the country. It's hard to predict. Covid19 has increased its usage for sure but that was due to pressure from the retailers.
I personally use cash as my bank were planning to charge a fee on contactless payment prior to covid19. Two other banks already charge a fee for it. Of course Covid19 meant this was paused.
Also if your ATM card is stolen here, a person can use contactless 6 times on your card to the value of €35euro each time. No questions asked by the shop staff either.
Liz Westwood from UK on June 12, 2020:
You make some very helpful points in this well-structured article. I have one question. In the UK, especially during the pandemic, cash is quickly going out of favour. Do you think emptying out change at the end of the day will be able to continue, as we head towards a cashless society, or will cash always have a place in our lives?