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Simple yet genius ways to help get you saving

How are your savings looking? Many of us know we should be putting more aside- but in reality, it’s easier said than done.

Budgeting doesn’t have to be hard. Whether you’re looking to grow your rainy-day fund or save enough for that perfect velvet sofa, adopting a few easy, saving hacks can help you get there without even thinking about it.  

Here we explore the fun side of budgeting; 10 simple tricks you can use to stretch your pay packet and save for the things you want.

Put yourself on a (financial) elimination diet

It’s a cliché, but those little everyday savings really can add up to make a big difference. If you regularly find yourself running low on funds a week or so after payday, it may be time to face facts and find out what’s been making your bank account unwell. From skipping daily lattes and shop-bought lunches, to a self-imposed ban on online purchases, experimenting with cutting out purchases one at a time is a great way to see what makes the biggest difference to your bank balance.

Bank any cash you didn’t bank on

If you didn’t expect it, you won’t miss it. Bonuses, tax rebates, gifts, take it all and put it away; you’ll be surprised at how quickly it adds up. Get yourself an old-fashioned piggy bank if it helps make the idea more appealing.

Step away from the supermarket

If you’ve ever heard anything about shopping and psychology, you’ll know that supermarkets are designed to make you spend more, using tricks to trigger impulse buys and making it hard to see what you are spending as you go. Online food shopping makes it easier to spot deals and keep track of what you are spending. Do your shopping online once a week, then don’t spend another penny on food unless you’re eating out for a special occasion.

No popping to the corner shop for snacks or the supermarket on your lunch break. This forces you to really think about what you need, and how much you are spending on it each week. You could even put money for your grocery spending on a gift card. If the concept of packed lunches reminds you of primary school, think of it as meal prep.

Make the most of technology

Need help getting your personal finances under control? Set up daily balance alerts from the bank to help avoid the danger of going into your overdraft. If you really want to be careful, there are lots of apps out there that can help you reach every goal.

Swap takeaways for fakeaways

For many of us, a takeaway at the weekend is what it’s all about. But while it’s nice to have the occasional treat, those curries and pizzas all add up- especially when you’re treating the family. So why not fake it? From chicken satay to veggie fajitas, there are heaps of recipes online for delicious, takeaway-style food. Set a budget, make your own rules and have some fun. Bonus; cooking together is also a nice (and cheap) way to while away a Saturday evening and could score you some extra points health-wise.

Ready, set, save

If you have like-minded friends, why not take on challenges together? Think “Packed Lunch March” or a monthly “No-Spend Weekend”. Set up a group chat with your savings buddies to exchange banter and keep your motivation up. You can reward yourselves with a little treat when you complete your challenge. Want to make it interesting? The person who has the most slip-ups has to buy the others a little purse-friendly treat.

DIY movie nights

From tickets to popcorn, going to the cinema can be expensive- particularly when you’re going as a family. Making a special occasion of a movie night at home is a great way to have all the fun of going to the cinema without the cost. If there is nothing to stream that you fancy, dig out the DVD collection and rediscover old favourites as a family.

Watching movies at home also means you can get more creative with the snacks- everyone’s favourite part of going to the cinema. From huge, gooey plates of nachos, to colourful homemade popcorn, team up and prepare the snacks together to extend the low-cost family fun.

The envelope method

It’s much easier to keep track of what you’re spending when you can see it. On payday, withdraw your spending money for the month in cash and divide it into separate envelopes: food, petrol, treats and so on. When it’s gone it’s gone.

Learn to see your money differently

Think about things you want to buy in terms of how many hours it took you to actually earn that money. This little trick teaches you to think about the true value of your money. Is that top really worth two hours of your hard work when you have so many other things to pay for? You’ll be surprised at how many purchases you can say no to when your work/life balance is on the line.

Finance agreements could help with your budgeting woes

Maintaining a healthy bank balance could make it easier for you to save towards the future, and the benefits of a finance agreement is that it could help you with your budgeting. Great value offers such as 0% finance, provide a savvy way of spreading the cost when buying a large purchase, with no extra cost!

And when it comes to taking out a finance agreement, you know where you stand as the monthly payment remains the same, and if interest is applied the interest rate you pay is usually fixed (always check that it is a fixed rate not variable). Allowing you to keep a track on your finances and thus make it easier to put money aside.

And that’s it. Pop whatever you haven’t spent during the pay period into your savings account and you’ll soon notice a huge difference.