Savvy Living – Fri, Jun 22, 2012 2:28 PM PHT
No one says no to a bulkier bank account, so say a big “hello!” to our list of money saving motivations. In the current economic climate many of us are feeling the pinch, so here are seven handy ways to boost your bank account:
Money saving motivation 1: Create a spreadsheet Instead of constantly trying to work things out in your head and making rough estimates on how much money you have left for the month, make things a whole lot easier by creating a spreadsheet. At first glance, these can seem a little daunting but it’s really easy once you get used to it and there are many free spreadsheet websites online which work out all the sums for you. By having your outgoings on a list in front of you, you can identify what you’re saving on and what you perhaps need to cut back on.
Money saving motivation 2: Avoid shopping when you’re feeling emotional... or hungry
You’re feeling a little down in the dumps but you need a new work shirt... bad idea. Turn around, get back inside the house, lock the doors, and ask someone to hide your keys right now—if you’re feeling emotional there’s a high chance you will end up splurging on stuff you don’t really need to give you a quick happiness boost. After spending five minutes looking for a shirt, you return with a few tins of paint to re-vamp the house, a new wardrobe of clothes, and a mop for the kitchen floor, but the new work shirt is nowhere to be seen.
Whilst these spur-of-the-moment purchases may uplift your mood for an hour or two, the initial high will soon wear off and you’ll be left feeling worse as you realize you’re left with nothing more than a few bargains and an empty bank account. For a thriftier approach to shopping, go when you’re in a pretty good mood and—whatever you do—don’t shop for groceries when you’re hungry.
Money saving motivation tip 3: Surround yourself with exciting hobbies and positive people
Rather than spending money on takeaways and meals out to cheer you up after a long hard day, identify other things you like doing that will boost your mood instead of spending money. Arrange some fun things to do with family and friends around your house or take up a new hobby such as gardening or crafts. We often end up spending more when we’re bored, emotional, and/or lonely so plan a film night with your family or buy a few ingredients from the grocery store and try cooking something you’ve never made before.
Money saving motivation 4: Save little and often
It’s a common mistake to think that you can’t start saving because you don’t have much money, but that’s like saying you won’t go on that one-hour run because you don’t have the whole day off to exercise—it’s counterproductive and unrealistic. Experts advise that the best way to boost your bank balance is by taking the ‘little and often’ approach to saving. Rather than putting a lump sum of your month’s wages into a savings account and leaving very little to live off for the rest of the month, just put a small amount away as often as possible and the money will mount up without you even noticing it. The more you see your bank balance rising, the more you will want to keep adding to it. Go