Boy saving money in a piggybank - isolated over a white background

How to Save More Money Quickly and Simply

If you already have savings but want to save more, there are simple and easy tricks to help you do just that. Below are some of the things you can do. Keep at it for an entire year and you’ll see that you’ll have stashed away more money than last year.

Make saving automatic

Saving when it has become a habit is as easy as ABC. If you’re struggling to make it a part of your lifestyle, you can set it up to be an automatic monthly affair. As soon as your paycheck comes in, let your bank deduct a certain percentage to set aside for savings. What’s left is for your monthly expenses.

Saving automatically sets you up for success. In essence, this is money you don’t see therefore making it easier for you to save in the end.

Eat healthy and at home

It’s also the best time to start eating healthy and at home. That means cutting down on take-outs and dining out. Start planning your meals and cook them at home. Bring your own lunch if you’re off to work. By simply doing this one change, you’ll be surprised at the amount of money you can save in a year. From groceries to medical bills, this move brims with savings potential.

Downgrade your phone plan

You might also want to consider downgrading your phone contract plan. If you’ve noticed your monthly bill getting out of hand and even if not, switching things up a bit can do wonders for your savings.

Rather than rely on your data plan all the time, take advantage of free Wi-Fi networks instead. You can also download money-saving apps to help you cut down your phone bill.

Eliminate unnecessary subscriptions

If you have a magazine subscription you don’t really fully maximize, unsubscribe as soon as you can and add the money to your savings account. Check your monthly expenses and eliminate unnecessary expenses. You might think everything’s necessary but think again. It pays to double check.

Use and bring cash all the time

If possible, use only cash when paying for something or buying things. While rather old fashioned, cash is a simple and effective reminder that you should put a tight reign on your spending. Cash offers you a tangible look of the amount of money you have as opposed to credit cards which encourages the constant quest for instant gratification.


4 Ways to Ensure You Stick with Your Budget

When it comes to personal finance, you’ve probably heard the advice a dozen times. Master the art of budgeting and you’re on the right track. There’s just one thing most people often miss. Yes, making a budget seems simple and easy but it’s the execution most people fail at.
To help you avoid the same financial pitfall, below are tips and tricks to guide you when creating a budget you can stick with.

Keep it real

If you want your budget to work, you need to keep it real. In other words, be as realistic as you can be. Otherwise, you’re only setting up yourself for failure.

Start by grabbing a notebook and pen. Record the amount of money that’s coming in per month and all your expected expenses. Deduct your savings and work with what’s left. The goal is to live within your means by budgeting what’s left after savings to cover for all your expenses.

If the money isn’t enough, you’ll need to make sacrifices by cutting some on the luxury category and focusing on what’s necessary. If the money is still isn’t enough then you might want to find another job or a part time gig to add to your total monthly income.

Don’t be too hard on yourself

The goal is to live within your means but don’t be too hard on yourself. Yes, you should keep your finances in sync with what you’re bringing in financially but you should also leave room for small failures.

If you were not able to stay within budget this month, don’t beat yourself up. Try again next month. If it seems that staying within budget is proving to be more difficult than expected, give yourself some breathing room. Better yet, enlist the help of a financial advisor to help you during the first few months of mastering the art of making a budget.

Make a list of all your spending

In order to know which area you’re overspending and which area needs extra attention, you need to make a list of all your expenses. Every purchase you made this month should be duly and diligently recorded on your expense notebook.

From food to rent, gas, utility bills and other expenses, every penny spend should be on record. Yes, doing so may sound like its too much work but the effort will pay off eventually. You don’t have to do this forever anyway. As soon as you get the hang of things and you can stay within budget without glitch, you’re free to forego this part of making a budget.

Prepare for unexpected expenses

One of the reasons why most budgeters fail is because they don’t prepare for unexpected expenses. In order to make your budget work, you need to include a category dedicated to unexpected expenses. They don’t happen all the time but it’s best to have all bases covered if you want to stay in line.

Set aside a portion of your budget for unexpected expenses each month. In fact, it’d be better and highly recommended if you open an account solely for this purpose. You can then call that your emergency fund.

Reward yourself

When you’ve done due diligence and stuck to your budget like any good consumer, a reward is in order. This is especially important if you’ve had a tight budget and made it work. Treat yourself but without going too far. Maybe you can go out and enjoy a good night with friends. Or you can finally buy that new dress you’ve been eyeing for weeks. Or better yet, take a vacation. The type of rewards is up to you, just make sure of course it stays within budget.


Understanding the Value of Money

If you want to get personal finance right, one of the best foundations you need to zero in first is to understand the value of money.

We live in a world where money is a necessity. It’s the currency of the world and either you’re good at handling yours or not. It’s either you’re letting money control you or you controlling money.

In any case, there’s no question to the fact that money is valuable yesterday, today and tomorrow. Other than letting you buy what you need and want, the weight of money’s importance in personal finance is in relation to time.

If you ask financial experts, they’d tell you that one of the most fundamental money principal is its time value. Put simply, the money you have today is worth more in the future when used wisely. In other words, if you invest your money today in a way that money starts working for you over time, a dollar today will be worth more in the future.

But before you do go ahead and invest your money, let’s first further illustrate what time value is. Let’s say for example that you are offered £10,000 now or £10,000 five years later. If you were like most people, you’d opt for the former option. After all, money today is always more enticing than waiting five years down the road.

For most people, receiving the £10,000 today is all about instant gratification. It’s free money they can use to shop or buy whatever they want. If you’re someone, however, who understands the time value of money, you’ll see that the same choice is correct simply because receiving the money gives you the advantage of time.

Disregarding inflation and other factors, now is better than later because you get the chance to let time work for you. You can invest the money so it earns interest over the course of five years thereby increasing the future value of your £10,000.

The trick, as you can see, is to invest the money. This is the one of the best and trusted ways to take advantage of the concept of time value for money. Based on the illustration above, money at its simplest is equal to time. It’s all a matter of making it all work for you. Calculate the time value of money and choose the right investments to make money work for you like a charm over time.