14th March 2017 at 4:47pm
Saving can be hard at the best of times, and it’s easy to become tired of the usual saving strategies.
You’re told to cut back on that daily coffee, get rid of that Netflix subscription and pop every spare penny you have in order to save. But what if you just can’t be bothered doing the same old same old anymore?
Boredom can lead to a lack of engagement with your savings, so what can you do to spice it up a bit?
Well there are a few things actually, here are our top six unconventional saving tips to put the spark back into your relationship with your savings.
Think of your funds as hours worked
Instead of thinking how much money you will have left over in your account after a purchase, think of the cost in terms of how long you would have to work to pay it off.
This really does work for me, if you’re swithering on whether to buy that new outfit for the weekend but realise it would take you four hours work to cover the cost, it may well put you off the pricey purchase.
Don’t do gifts
Yep, I went there. Don’t buy gifts. Or, at least don’t buy gifts for everyone and their wife when you really don’t need to.
I only buy for my nearest and dearest, and that doesn’t include distant family or friends I hardly see or speak to.
It’s a good idea to come to an arrangement with family and friends so that you don’t spend too much on each other. In my family, for instance, we only buy for the kids at Christmas, not adults. You may think this is a little harsh, but it works for us and means we don’t break the bank over the festive period.
Reward your saving
Sticking to saving can be tricky, after all it can be all too easy to spend, but it takes real dedication to save.
So reward your efforts! Now it may seem counterproductive to spend when your aim is to save, but as Woman’s Day explains, it ensures you save;
‘When saving money feels like deprivation, you’re going to break your own rules. Instead of thinking about what you are missing, save to reward yourself. Every time you put another thousand bucks in the savings account, for example, treat yourself and your spouse to a night on the town.’
So treat yourself, you deserve it!
Where you can, buy nearly new instead
Buying second hand can save you bucket loads, but people can be put off because they think that you can only get junk on sites like E-bay, gum tree and shpock but you can find great deals on items that are nearly new or in great condition.
Even amazon has second-hand products for sale, so you can buy cheaper from reputable stockists not just from charity shops and car boot sales.
Not only that, you can sell anything you don’t need on sites like these to rake in the cash too.
After all, you wouldn’t think twice about buying a car second hand so why not buy other products for less too? It could make a big difference to your bank balance.
Park the plastic
Paying with your credit or debit card is convenient, and is becoming the norm for many because of its ease. And it is just that, easy.
Spending becomes second nature when all you need to do is tap your card to the debit machine screen in the shops. But carrying cash could be a great way to curb the spending, as Women’s Day explains;
‘Force yourself to carry cash rather than plastic so you have to count out the bills each time you hit the register. This will also limit your spending potential because you can only spend what you’ve got in your wallet.’
So park the plastic and you could see your bank balance last that little bit longer.
The envelope strategy
The envelope system is one of the oldest tricks in the book, a bit of a retro classic that’s fallen out of favour.
Basically, you work out how much you spend on particular expenses each month, for example, if you spend £200 a month on the food shop you withdraw the £200 in cash and put it in an envelope marked ‘food shop’.
You repeat the process for all of your expenses, and as Wise Bread explains, it makes your budgeting more ‘real’;
‘One of the envelope system’s best benefits is how real it is — how tactile, how tangible. Let’s say it’s the 20th of the month and you’re wondering how much you have left in your clothing budget. Just look inside the envelope marked “clothing” and count the cash. It couldn’t be simpler.’
So give it a go, and you could soon have lots of funds left over for squirreling away into your savings.
These six tips could help you to spice up your savings relationship and increase your savings to boot!
After all every little helps, and by making these changes and trying our tips you could save more for the future you want and deserve.
So give them a try, and see if becoming a maverick saver with these unconventional tricks is right for you.