Spending money is easy. On occasion, there’s nothing better than splurging on a holiday, or a new car or laptop. Spending it is perhaps all too easy – it’s saving it in the first place that can feel like an arduous task.
Saving the pennies doesn’t have to be this way though. By making a few simple changes and introducing a few new activities into your day-to-day life, saving money can become a whole lot more interesting.
Set a budget
Though it may not be the most exciting thing to do, the first thing you need to do is create an accurate budget. Assess how much is coming in and out each month, and then you can see how much you’re free to put into a savings account.
When searching for that all-important savings account, be sure to read the terms – are you happy to lock your money away for a year or two, or do you want regular access to it? Leeds Building Society offer a great range, and most importantly are clear about each and every account.
Know what you’re saving for
Whilst it is obviously possible to have the self-control to save for the generic rainy day, it’s much, much easier to feel happy about putting a certain amount into your savings account each month if you have a clear idea of what you’re saving for.
If it’s for something big like a wedding, break the total amount you need to save down into smaller, more achievable goals. For example, £200 for the wedding cake is quicker to accrue than the £2000 for the venue hire. Whilst the end goal is obviously the total amount, make keeping track of how much you are saving a positive, glass half full situation.
Visualise your savings
A way of making savings feels more tangible is by creating a way of visualising how much you’ve put away, and what goals you’ve reached. A ‘money thermometer’ is a popular way of showing amounts, but be creative, and make your own visualisations.
We’ve all got a competitive side – so why not challenge a spouse, sibling or friend to see how much money you can save over three months? There are also competitions out there which can add to your existing savings, like this one from Leeds Building Society.
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There will always be amounts like the bills and rent or mortgage that are non-negotiable, but the amount spent on clothing and food shopping can be dramatically reduced in most households. Challenge yourself to stick to a budget for each meal and stick to it – being creative with leftovers and only buying what you’re going to use are great ways of cutting down on your food shopping costs.