The new year has begun, and we’ve all dusted off our resolutions. We want to be healthier, be better with our money, and progress in our careers. These are all laudable goals, but none will help you with your future as much as making smart money moves.
We’re all told that money is not the most important thing in life. That’s true, to an extent, but, if we’re honest, it’s something that can make life a lot easier. In this post, we’ll look at some smart moves that you can make to help your money go further painlessly.
Give Yourself a Cash Allowance
You’ve probably already worked out your budget. We know that this is the first thing that we do when we get serious about saving. Sticking to the budget, on the other hand, can prove challenging. Which is why you need to give yourself a cash allowance.
This is your discretionary spending money – determine how much “me money” you can allow yourself a week, and then draw it out in cash. There are only two rules – spend it on whatever you like, and when it’s gone, that’s it.
Why cash? Strangely enough, swiping a card doesn’t quite seem real, does it? You know intellectually that you are spending money, but you do not see the money go. Spending cash, on the other hand, is more difficult. There’s a big difference between watching those bills go out to swiping a card.
The advantage of working things this way is that you always know how much you can spend. It’s right there in front of you. Also, because you can’t just swipe a card to add to the figure, it’s difficult to overspend again.
Set Up an Automatic Savings Plan
We all start the year off vowing to save more. Somehow, we think that once all the expenses are paid, we can put the rest into a savings account. Think again. Once that money hits your account, you’ll always find something to spend it on.
Work out how much you want to save and set up an automatic payment that goes off as soon as your salary hits your account. Even if you start with $10 a month, it’s a start.
Save Your Change
This is a painless way of saving. We’re not just talking about having a bottle that all your loose change goes into to. Have that as well, for sure, but consider saving any change in your bank account as well.
We do that here – whenever the balance in our account is not a round number, we move the change to the saving account. Sometimes it’s only a few cents. It’s not much of a hardship, and you don’t even miss the money, but it adds up pretty fast.
Rethink Loyalty Points
When you spend at a certain store, you earn loyalty points that you can use to offset against purchases in future—that’s great. It’s also a great way to save. The next time you use your points, put an equal amount of cash into your savings account. You won’t even notice the difference, and you’ll put those points to excellent use.
There are, naturally, tons of other ways that you can save money. Using these as inspiration, what other ways can you think up?