How can I save money?
Have you ever taken an old jacket out of the wardrobe and found a tenner in one of the pockets? Do you remember how great that felt? Finding a tenner or two in a long-forgotten pocket must be the closest any of us mere morals will ever get to knowing what it must feel like to win the lottery.
What did you do with that tenner? Did you bank it, sticking in the piggybank or did you spend it like it was on fire? Most of us are probably guilty of wasting our newly found “wealth” just as quickly as we discovered it.
Therein lays the problem when it comes to saving money. Most of us find it difficult to resist the temptations of modern life with all its offerings. There is a new restaurant just opened down the road which we must try, or we must get that last gadget we saw someone sporting down the gym which measures your heart-rate, inside leg measurements whilst reading our horoscope.
What if the next time we have some spare cash we don’t spend it on some nonsense, how about putting it to one side for a while and see how we feel about it. Many people spend money on impulse, an idea comes into their heads to buy a sandwich when they are not hungry or a coffee when they are not that thirsty. These are small purchases and do very little to dent the bank balance but over time these small purchases start to add up.
I learnt a long time ago that if I can fight the urge to walk past the coffee shop and forgo the espresso which had become for me a daily routine soon I was much more able to fight the bigger urges like buying new pair of trainers when I already had sufficient pairs already or spending another night out with friends when the monthly budget was already beginning to creak at the seams.
Being able to control the little urges helped me control the larger ones, this allowed me to start to save money and sleep easier at night knowing that I had a nice financial cushion which I could rely on if circumstances called.
Why save money, why not live for today?
The Money Advice Service carried out a survey in which they concluded that 40% of adults in the UK have less than £500 of savings. Further studies showed that nearly 30% of adults in the UK have no savings. What we want to do in this article is to understand why people in the UK are not able to save any money.
Many young people do not save any money because they want to enjoy themselves and live for today. Which is understandable, but the sooner young people start to put money away the quicker the savings will build up into something substantial. With compound interest the sooner people start saving the more the money they will have when they come to retirement age. Of course, this is presuming that they never touch the money from 18 until 65 which is unreasonable to expect. Most people save money to buy property. The sooner young people start a savings account into which they deposit a proportion of their wages the less likely it is they will need to take out short-term loans or emergency loans in the future.
It’s too late for me to start saving
It is never too late to start putting money to one side. As we approach retirement, we start to think about how we are going to finance ourselves. Many people in the UK do not have a pension other than the state pension. They might be looking at selling their property and downsizing. But as we are all living longer will that money be enough. What if we fall ill and need to go into a home, who will pay for it?
No matter how insignificant you may think a small amount of savings might seem it is still always better than nothing. It is never to late to start saving to build up a rainy-day fund for emergencies.
Saving money is boring
We must learn how to defer gratification. As boring as it may be to have to forgo a night out on the town with the lads or girls it is better than being stone cold broke. For every night out you pass up on is more money to go towards building your financial cushion. Ok, this is not to say that you should never go out with your friends, but moderation is key. You can be sure that your friends probably feel the same way about their finances. So why not get together at home rather than going out and blowing money away which could in the future be put to better use.
Set yourself a target, maybe you have your heart set on buying a place of your own. Here you can set yourself a target to save up for a deposit. Start thinking of ways in which you can save more money and earn more money to put towards buying that space of your own. Saving money for the sake of it is dull and a bit of a misery, but when you have an objective you will find purpose.
I don’t have any spare money to save.
Take a moment to write down all your monthly expenses. Is there anything there which you can cut out? Meals out, takeaways, sandwiches and coffees bought for lunch at work. Maybe downsize your mobile phone contract, cancel subscription TV services. If you can’t think of anything to cut out the other way to start saving is to ask for extra hours at work or take on a second job in the evenings or weekends. Work and save now and it will pay dividends in a few years’ time when you can look back and feel comfortable with that nice pile of cash in the bank that you keep adding too.
If you don’t want to take on a second job you could consider starting up your own online business. Use your savings wisely to start up your own thing to make more money. Take control today.
Spending money is great fun, it is even more fun when we have more than just one source of income such as our day job. Therefore, it is always a good idea to look at starting up an online business which you can take the time and care to develop. Online businesses do not need to be anything extravagant. Setting up an eBay account is easy, and we all have bits and pieces laying around the house we can sell, and if you think about it, if you have stuff to sell what about your friends and family. How about you strike up a deal that you will list, sell, post their items for a percentage of the sell price. Most people would be happy to de-clutter even if they do have to pay a small fee. This is an example of a simple online business which anyone can start which needing a small loan.
I have enough money
Being rich means that if you were to stop working today how long could you survive without an income? If you could survive 12 months then you can consider yourself 12 months rich, if you can survive 20 years then you are 20 years rich. The truly rich could survive multiple lifetimes and never run out of cash. This is not because they have enough money, but because they have multiple incoming generating streams that continue to replace the money they spend. Now that is what being wealthy is. These people started off in life making good decisions and deferring their gratification until there investments could pay for the luxuries. The rich buy assets first and luxuries last.
How much do it need to save?
Ideally you will want to be saving no less than 10% of your monthly income. In a year you will have the equivalent of a month’s wages in your savings. After 10 years you will have a year’s wages. 10% is the bare minimum to save, you can live on the other 90% quite easily.
If you think about it, when people earn 25k per year they manage, when they earn 40k they also manage but suddenly they find that they have more money they spend more money. If they managed on 25k why not put the other 15k to one side and live on the 25k. After 10 years they will have 150k in the bank. This is more than enough for a deposit on a property to live in or to rent out to bring in a nice monthly amount of money to add to the financial cushion.
If you think 10 years is too long, consider this, those 10 years will pass. It is up to you to decide if in 10 years you would rather have a few tens of thousands in the bank or a pile of debts. Defer gratification is the key.