How to effectively save money

pension gap, piggy bank, financial, saving money

Article by Melina Abbott

With inflation currently at 6.2% (Office for National Statistics) finding ways to save money and make your income go further each month is essential, especially if you want to maintain the standard of living you’re used to.

Here are 8 tips that will help you effectively save money each month:

  1. Know your finances.

Most people check their bank balance to see how much they can spend on any given day.  Doing this means you’re constantly fire-fighting and it’s easy to go overdrawn or not have enough money to pay for something you need.  Tracking cash-flow gets you very present to money and what you focus on expands.  It also shows you where any danger zones are – you’ll see in advance if you’re going to struggle to pay a particular bill and can take action before it happens. 

To do this, create a cashflow forecast in something like Excel and each day keep track of all money coming in, and money going out plus the balance of your account.  Do this at the end of each day for money you’ve received and money you’ve spent.  On the same spreadsheet, track money due to come in and go out in the next 30 days. 

You can download a free Cash Flow Tracker at www.melinaabbott.com/cash-flow-tracker

  1. Turn saving money into a game.

For many, money is stressful – there’s never enough and there’s constant anxiety around paying the bills.  This seems to be true regardless of how much someone makes. 

Bringing light-heartedness to money transforms it.  See it as an adventure rather than a hardship. 

Make saving money fun by turning it into a game.  Give it a name, for example Austerity Measures, Money Magic, Money Matters.  Most importantly make it short-term – for example, the next 3 months.  If we think we’re going to have to scrimp and save forever it can get depressing.  But looking at it over the short term, makes it much easier. 

  1. Cut all unnecessary expenses.

What can you do without for 3 months?  Do you have subscriptions you hardly use or have forgotten about?  Are you eating out, getting coffee on the go?  Could you do something at home that you’d normally get done professionally?  Could you car-share and cut motoring costs?  Be as ruthless as you can – remind yourself it’s only temporary.  Although you might discover there are some things you can live without forever.

  1. Become money conscious

Notice where your money is going and be very discerning about where you choose to spend it.  Many of our outgoings are a habit – we do it without thinking.  For the next 3 months, for every expense ask yourself “do I really need this?  Could I leave buying it for another few weeks?”  If the answers is yes, don’t buy it.

  1. Get creative

There are lots of free and low-cost places to visit throughout the UK – find the ones in your local area.  As the weather warms up picnics are great fun, particularly if you make an afternoon of it with friends and delicious food.  Play a game where each family member comes up with a dozen free or low-cost things to do.  Why not do them all during your 3-month adventure? 

  1. Save first

We often leave saving money for when we have a surplus at the end of the month, and of course that never happens as our outgoings always expand to fit our income.  It’s vital that you get into the habit of saving first.  This is where your cash-flow forecast comes in.  When it looks like there will be money left over, put it in a savings account that’s not linked to your main current account.  You should have easy access to it but not be able to see it every day.  This helps avoid the temptation to spend it. 

Put it aside as soon as you receive the income, not at the end of the month.  If you try to do this there won’t be any left.  Make a pact that you’ll only spend it in an emergency.  Having savings to fall back on gives you peace of mind.  Challenge yourself to see how much you can save in the next 3 months.

  1. Supplement your income

What ways can you supplement your income?  Do you have a skillset that others would pay for?  A spare room you can let out?   Are there things you’re not using that you could sell?  Brainstorm all the ways you could generate cash – some will be nonsense but there might just be a golden gem. 

  1. Celebrate and appreciate every windfall

We are often given gifts that go un-noticed or unappreciated.  Maybe they’re small so feel like a drop in the ocean.  However, what we appreciate accumulates.  The more we appreciate, the more we’re given.  For example, I’ve just changed my daughter’s mobile phone tariff, saving £11 a month.  Included with the tariff is a free 3-month subscription to audible.  It just so happens that there’s an audio book I want.  I’m very appreciative that I can listen to it for free and save £7.99.  When we don’t appreciate what we’re already given, why would the universe bother to give us more?

About the author

Melina AbbottMelina Abbott is a ‘ninja sales queen’, who helps spiritually aware coaches and healers create a blend of grounded practical sales systems that align with intuitive, spiritual transformation. Her playful and refreshing approach inspires people to create a business that they love, whilst leading a life that lights them up. She is also the author of Sacred Selling, a practical, engaging guide to merge spirituality and sales.

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