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One of the main reasons so many people find it difficult to save money is that they often set out to do this with no real purpose. Saving for a “rainy day” or for potential emergencies is definitely sensible, but for many people, this is a difficult task as there is no real sense of reward. When you are putting money aside to pay for something specific, it is far easier to envisage how the money will be spent and also to understand why you are making sacrifices in your everyday life. In this article, we discuss six small changes you can make to help you save money for larger purchases.
When we think about our daily lives, we often take a lot of things for granted. Things that start out as little treats to self become routine and you can even start expecting them as a matter of course. Take a long hard look at how you spend your money each day. Those morning coffees, after lunch nibbles or evening glasses of wine are all classed as luxuries. It can be extremely painful to suddenly cut out the parts of your life that you enjoy the most but remember, this is a temporary measure that you are adopting to help you achieve a specific goal. Every time you go without a glass of wine or make a normal coffee at home, you are saving money. Make a note of how much and physically put it away in to a different account. Even a dollar a day will begin to add up far more quickly than you might expect.
Whether you are based in the Philippines or the USA, you are most likely a subscriber to several streaming services. Music, films, TV shows and even games are now available to stream at any time of the day or night, providing that you have a decent internet connection and the technology to enjoy them with. With so much choice available, more and more people are discovering that although they are paying a regular monthly fee, they only get a few hours’ worth of use from each service. Rather than wasting this money each month, consider stopping one of your services altogether. This does not have to be a permanent arrangement and you can always re subscribe if you find that you are missing things a little too much. There is also the option to chop and change between different streaming services, depending on which shows you are watching or which games you are playing. As with the luxury item in the last point, the key is to put the money you would ordinarily spend on your streaming provider into a savings account so you can see it begin to amass. Ten dollars a month does not sound much, but over the course of a year, that is enough to pay for a sizable Christmas or Birthday present or a meal in a five-star restaurant.
This is one of the most underreported ways of saving money, but it is also one of the most significant. In countries like the Philippines, staying hydrated is important, especially in the warmer summer months. That does not mean that you need to shell out on expensive pre bottled water, though. Single use plastics are bad for the environment and the what you are paying for when you buy a bottle of water is so much higher than the cost of production, shipping, and packaging. It takes a little organisation and effort, but it is generally a better idea to try and use refillable water bottles if you can. They can be filled from home or in public spaces with drinking fountains. If you are the kind of person who averages two or three bottles of water per day while at work, this could provide you with some significant savings in the long run.
The cost of petrol, car tax, road tax, insurance and repairs soon add up and before you know it, the vehicle that was supposed to make getting to work quick and easy is now costing you more money than it’s really worth. This will not be a practical solution for those who have a long commute but for anybody who can manage it, walking or cycling to work will significantly reduce the amount you spend on transport each year. If you cannot manage this every day, even a few days per week will be enough for you to notice a difference over time. Small changes like this might seem insignificant but when you consider the cost of petrol, repairs and other expenses associated with driving every day, you may be surprised at how much you can save.
Vacations can be expensive and with the current situation around travel, flying to another country may not be the best idea. Instead of spending hundred or even thousands on an all-inclusive holiday resort, why not try a cheaper alternative such as spending your vacation time at home or with friends. You can still budget for things like spending money and activities but as you don’t have to pay for flights or accommodation, you won’t find yourself in masses of debt when the few weeks in the sun comes to an end. To prepare for this over the course of the year, start putting small amounts of money away on a regular basis and earmark it as a holiday fund. You may not use all of it and any excess can go back into your savings account or help you to pay off your existing debts.
Having a goal to help you save is the easiest way to save money each day, but you can also set smaller, daily targets, too. Cutting out wasteful spending takes practice, but it is the best way to make your money go further in the long run.