Planning for the Future: Tips on Saving Money

Money woes aren’t just a breach of financial security–they can compromise your privacy, health, and overall quality of life. While they say money can’t buy happiness, it’s surely a necessary means to obtaining the basic needs with which we can sustain even a modest, comfortable, and healthy life. Fortunately, saving money doesn’t require any rigorous regimen–it’s a lifestyle. By employing some simple organizational and money-saving techniques, you’ll assuredly pave a path to financial stability.

Trim the fat

Businesses are known to eliminate dispensable employees when they’re in the red and need to begin generating revenue, so why not do the same with your personal goods and services? Assess where you’re spending money and determine what you absolutely need and what you can do without. Financial guru Suze Orman says “I challenge

you to reduce every one of your monthly utility bills by 10 percent”, which might include expensive cable packages or an unnecessary landline.1 Mobile devices are all the rave, but be honest with yourself–do you need the newest smartphone and tablet with 10 GB of monthly data to stream music and movies everywhere you go? You’d be pleasantly surprised with what you’d save by reducing your spending on these devices.

Take a personal inventory

Whatever it is you’re looking for, you can’t find–so you buy a new one. A lack of personal organization doesn’t just set the stage for a frustrated and possibly frantic search, but increased spending. You name it: cleaning products, small tools, personal care items, kitchen utensils, and cell phone chargers are among many items of which people own multiples, simply because they couldn’t find the original. If you maintain a simple spreadsheet of various items you own and their whereabouts, you won’t spend excess money on buying replacements, thereby allowing you to save.

Meal planning

How many of your meals come from restaurants, drive-through fast food, or the supermarket prepared foods counter? Lives are busy and time is valuable, so for many, food preparation is a daunting and arduous task that becomes avoided in many households. Planning your meals allows you to determine necessary ingredients and quantities ahead of time, eliminating that all too frequent last minute prepared foods/takeout dinner. Also, Cooking Light suggests using a shopping list2. Sticking to this guideline ensures that you’ll look for and purchase only what you need, thereby saving on would-be impulse purchases.

Pay the savings

You pay your bills because you know you have to–so why not pay your savings account? Set up a realistic monthly budget and include an amount that you will transfer to your savings. All too often people succumb to limitless spending once their bills are paid, leaving little to nothing left over at the end of the month. This way, you dictate a minimum that will be “left over”, allowing you to steadily amass a savings.

As you can see, saving money isn’t so much about savings as it is reducing spending. By adjusting your lifestyle and living within your means, you can enjoy the comforts of life while strengthening your financial future.

 

Will writes for a number of businesses in the UK including Francis Clark chartered accountants.  Look to Francis Clark for tax consultancy, property accountancy, corporate & business tax advice and more.

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