1) Pay yourself first – This is one of the best ways to save money fast. Rather than waiting to the end of the month to save (when there will be little cash left), I always move some money the day after payday. You can do this yourself or set up an automatic transfer, whichever works best for you. Make it easy for yourself to save and that way it will become a habit.
2) What can you give up temporarily? – To save up money for a travel fund, I gave up online shopping, clothes, trips to the movies and theatre for three months. I will admit giving up the cinema was hard but I didn’t miss the other things. You can give up 3 things for the whole 3 months, or you can build up to it. For example, giving up clothes the first month, then adding makeup/skincare products the second month and online shopping for the last month. If you find it difficult to save, the second method will phase it in. This is a great way to save up for an emergency fund, if you don’t have one. Life is full of unexpected surprises, so I highly suggest you do.
3) No spend days – In today’s culture, spending has become a habit, but it’s not always necessary to spend everyday. It wasn’t until I started doing this, did I realise just how much of my spending was on autopilot. Challenge yourself to three no spend days every week. It’s best to avoid the weekends at first, but once you build that muscle, it can lead to no spend weekends, which I highly recommend. It doesn’t have to be every weekend but as part of my money saving challenge, I did this twice a month to build up my
savings. There are so many fun things you can do at home such as a popcorn and movie evening with friends, a board game evening, a picnic in the park or learn a new skill by watching YouTube videos. That’s how I learnt about stocks and shares.
4) Saving money on food – by this I suggest looking at your eating patterns. If you tend to throw out food on a frequent basis, I would change your food shopping pattern. For example if you eat out a lot on Friday and the weekends, only buy a smaller amount of food for Monday to Thursday, this way you can reduce how much food goes into the bin. Pre-packaged salad and ingredients for a few meals will reduce waste. It’s about finding something that works with your lifestyle. I cook at home most days a week, but for other people this may not always work. Another trick I use is to have a ‘food about to go off shelf’ in the fridge. Every few days I will check the fridge and move a few items to that shelf. It means I know what I will be cooking that evening. Also, you can be on a budget and still indulge in a takeaway. Instead of buying lots of dishes order a main like an Indian curry and buy naan bread from the supermarket on your way home. Instead of ordering rice, cook it yourself. By the time the delivery arrives at your door, you will have had enough time to cook fresh rice.
5) Intentional spending – make a list of the top 10 things that make you happy. The secret to this list is to have items that you can do yourself and with others, but also adding a few things you can do on a daily basis. The big things like holidays or a promotion at work don’t happen often, so it’s best to focus on daily happiness. Rather than pushing your happiness into the distant future, focus on the here and now. By having a list you
will know what makes you happy, and two, it will reduce impulse spending. By spending intentionally on what makes you happy, you will increase the amount of joy in your life and also stop spending on things that don’t add any value to your life.